Restructured Posts Consolidate Decision-Making, Accountability
Gov. Perdue today announced a major restructuring in education leadership that will change the way we do business in North Carolina. In keeping with Gov. Perdue’s commitment to a 21st century education system that affords every child the opportunity to learn, today’s announced changes establish a clearly defined leadership role for seeing through the policies and requirements to ready North Carolina public schools for the global economy.
“I have heard from educational leaders across the state, and their frustrations echo my own experiences serving on the Board,” said Gov. Perdue. “We need to have a clear line of accountability and better structural support to implement new policies.”
“At the same time, the buck stops with me when it comes to North Carolina’s education system. These are changes that are coming at just the right time to kick off a new era of educational innovation and progress.”
Gov. Perdue is asking the State Board of Education to redefine the duties of its chair to include the responsibilities of the newly created Chief Executive Officer, who will manage operations of the public school system. Gov. Perdue is appointing Dr. Bill Harrison to the Board and is asking the Board members to select him as their chair.
Dr. Harrison is currently the Superintendent of Cumberland County Schools — the fourth largest school system in North Carolina. He has also served as Superintendent of Orange County and Hoke County Schools. He began his teaching career in 1975 in Fayetteville.
In addition, Gov. Perdue is appointing Howard Lee to serve as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Education Cabinet, a group she has pledged to reinvigorate. Lee is currently the chair of the State Board of Education.
“Dr. Harrison and Chairman Lee are strongly committed to improving our public schools,” said Gov. Perdue. “Their leadership and experience will be invaluable as we continue to strive to make our schools world-class in a global economy.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Gov. Perdue in making our public schools they best that they can be,” said Dr. Harrison. “Strong schools mean a stronger economy.”
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to help Gov. Perdue implement her vision for great schools and to work with the state’s top education leaders to build a seamless system that works for all of our students,” said Chairman Lee.
Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson will continue to be the state’s education ambassador, working with superintendents, education leaders, schools, business leaders and others to strengthen our public schools. In addition, Gov. Perdue asked Atkinson to lead a new Blue Ribbon Task Force on Career Development and Workforce Issues.
Also today, Gov. Perdue named Myra Best as special advisor to the Governor on education and education innovation. Best is currently director of the Business Education Technology Alliance and of the E-Learning Commission. She has 14 years of teaching and counseling experience in public schools.
“Myra has been instrumental in helping me put more technology in our schools,” said Gov. Perdue. “She will help us continue to reach our goals of providing 21st century learning options in every corner of our state.”
“Gov. Perdue is a long-time leader in improving our public schools, and I look forward to continuing our work in building strong, 21st century classrooms,” said Best.
The governor continues the process of selecting an education advisor and a teacher advisor.