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Former NYC Schools Chief Joins USC Rossier

02/02/09
Rudolph Crew, a former head of the New York City public school system, will recruit students and develop new partnerships in the community.
Rudolph Crew serves on several boards and task forces.

The USC Rossier School of Education has announced the appointment of Rudolph (Rudy) Crew to the position of professor of clinical education.

In his new position, Crew will be working with faculty and students in the school’s nationally recognized Ed.D. program, recruiting students for next year, developing program standards for new community partnerships and providing leadership for specific existing USC Rossier partnerships, including programs with local schools and the Los Angeles Urban League.

Crew is a lifelong educator whose career included the chancellorship of the nation’s largest school district, the New York City Department of Education, where he served from 1995-99.

Since 2004, Crew has served as superintendent of the nation’s fourth-largest school district in Miami-Dade County, Fla. As an education leader, he consistently has demonstrated a commitment to making the changes needed for realizing the vision of educational excellence for all students.

Crewbegan his career as a teacher in Worcester, Mass., and although he has climbed the administrative ranks, he has always remained a teacher at heart and in practice, often stepping back into the classroom to teach at the elementary through university level.

He is a nationally renowned educator and education policy opinion leader. He recently was called upon to advise the transition team of President Barak Obama in the formulation of national education policy and now serves on the president’s Education Policy Council.

As an author, his publication, Only Connect: The Way to Save Our Schools, has guided public discussion. Crew has received many honors, including the 2008 AASA National Superintendent of the Year; the Florida Association of Partners in Education Superintendent’s Award (2007); the Spirit of Excellence Award from Minority Development & Empowerment Inc. (2007); the Vann Miller Award for Outstanding Educational Administrator, presented by the Illinois Association of School Administrators (2003); the Living the Dream Award, presented by New York Gov. George Pataki (1997); and the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award (1996).

Crew, a member of the American Association of School Administrators, serves on several boards and task forces, including the Carnegie Foundation’s Commission on Mathematics and Science Education, the Al Shanker Institute, the National Superintendents Roundtable, the Public Education Network, the National Research Council’s Committee on Scientific Principles of Education Research and the Education Task Force.

He is an associate in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he has been part of the Urban Superintendent Program since 1992.

“USC Rossier is indeed honored and proud to announce Rudy Crew’s appointment,” said Karen Symms Gallagher, USC Rossier dean. “Dr. Crew’s guiding principle in his work as an educator has always been to provide the means by which all students can achieve high standards. His own achievements as an educational leader and reformer and his commitment to seeing all students succeed are in close harmony with the mission of Rossier, which is to strengthen urban education locally, nationally and globally. We welcome him and are eager for his invaluable contributions.”

In commenting on his new appointment, Crew said, “I am pleased to join this faculty and the USC family. I know and deeply respect their scholarship and clinical work in the field of urban education. More importantly, this is a critical moment in the redesign of American schooling. I am honored and excited to continue my efforts to improve the lives of children through this opportunity.”

When Crew took the helm of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 2004, he worked closely with stakeholders to craft a strategic plan that set a clear and compelling vision and direction for the district. Under his leadership, the district progressed dramatically on several fronts.

Among the highlights were rising student achievement levels, higher academic and conduct standards, and dramatically reduced overcrowding, including a 91 percent decrease in the student-station deficit. That success has been acknowledged by the Broad Foundation, which recognized the district as a 2006 and 2007 Broad Prize for Urban Education finalist. The system is now viewed as a model for other districts across the nation.

The Parent Academy, the Community-based Literacy Initiative, the School Improvement Zone and a new parent communication system are among the other models of intervention Crew brought to Miami Dade and for which the district was recognized.

Prior to his appointment in Miami Dade, Crew served as director of district reform initiatives at the Stupski Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation created in 1996 to support the improvement of public education. In that role, Crew led a team that supported selected school districts in comprehensive systems improvement.

As chancellor of New York City Public Schools, Crew led a number of reforms, including the adoption of curriculum standards for all schools, elimination of tenure for principals and introduction of school-based budgeting. He also was instrumental in closing failing schools and replacing failing educators.

Crew established the Math and Science Institute, an after-school and Saturday program to help black and Latino students boost their academic performance. He also created a Superintendents’ and Principals’ Institute to cultivate and nurture school leadership.

Crew’s commitment to community involvement is evidenced through his participation with the United Way, the Miami Coalition for Safe and Drug Free Community, Take Stock in Children and The Homeless Trust.

A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Crew holds a doctor of education degree in educational administration and a master of education degree in urban education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in management from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.