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OEI Board will focus on turning around chronically failing, or underperforming, public schools
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today announced his appointments to the Opportunity Educational Institution Board. The Board will begin immediately to oversee the OEI. The OEI, which was created through legislation passed during the 2013 General Assembly Session, will focus on turning around chronically failing or underperforming public schools in the Commonwealth to ensure a high quality education for all students.
The Board is comprised of nine appointed members and ex officio members as follows: two members of the House of Delegates, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; two members of the Senate, appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; one nonlegislative citizen member who shall have experience with the turnaround of failing schools; one nonlegislative citizen member who shall be a former teacher, former principal, or former superintendent; and, three nonlegislative citizen members who shall be citizens at large. The nonlegislative citizen members are appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. The Secretary of Education or his designee and the Executive Director of the Institution shall serve ex officio with nonvoting privileges.
Speaking about the OEI Board, Governor McDonnell commented, “The Opportunity Educational Institution Board brings together top K-12 education reform leaders in Virginia with passionate education advocates in state government. These leaders will work to ensure all Virginia children have access to a high quality education, and they are going to get to work right away. If a single Virginia school is allowed to continue to fail resulting in students being denied a high-quality education, then we are not doing our constitutional duty. That is unacceptable. The status quo is no longer ok, and the leaders on the OEI Board will be critical to the bipartisan effort to ensure that every child in the Commonwealth goes to a high quality school and gets a world class education.”
Senator Ryan McDougle added, “These appointees possess the depth and breadth of experience needed to guide the Opportunity Educational Institution on its critical mission of reforming and revitalizing chronically failing schools. The Commonwealth is very fortunate to have qualified individuals of this caliber willing to serve on the OEI Board as it begins the arduous and challenging process of ensuring every child in Virginia gets to attend a great school.”
Delegate Kirk Cox, co-chairman of the Governor's K-12 Education Reform Summit and a retired high school teacher stated, “This is another important step forward in our efforts to make Virginia schools the best in the nation. Statewide, our students are well above the national SAT averages in reading, writing, and math. Focusing on failing and under performing schools will help ensure that all students will have the opportunity to achieve academic results that will give them the best skills for 21st century jobs.”
Former Virginia Secretary of Education Jim Dyke noted, “I am confident the OEI Board will provide expert leadership for Virginia's children. The Board is well positioned to oversee the turnaround of failing schools and remain focused on the best interest of children. I have long advocated for the state having the ultimate authority to take over failing schools in partnership with localities as a last option to assure that students have a lifeline to enable them to get the quality education required by our Constitution. I commend the Governor and the General Assembly for stepping up and providing that lifeline for these students. They deserve such an opportunity to achieve success.”
Lisa Goeas of Alexandria, Vice President of Political and Grassroots Program, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
Goeas is the vice president of political and grassroots for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Washington, D.C. She is responsible for developing and directing NFIB political and grassroots programs that impact public-policy issues important to the small-business community. Prior to joining NFIB, Ms. Goeas was the chief of staff to Hector V. Baretto, small-business administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration. As chief of staff, she was the primary senior executive advisor to the administrator on program and policy matters, and represented the agency in negotiations and liaison activities with officials of the White House, Congress and other federal agencies. From 1996 – 2002, Ms. Goeas served as Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson. Married to Ed Goeas, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia with their three children, Emma, Robert and Bennett. She serves on the Alexandria PTA Council as well as the PTAs for George Washington Middle School and MacArthur Elementary School.
Julia Ciarlo Hammond of Richmond, Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor
Hammond leads the McDonnell Administration’s legislative strategy, develops the Governor's policy agenda and works with members of the Virginia General Assembly to advance the Governor's priorities. Since January 2011, Julia has been pivotal to the success of the Governor's agendas, directing the Administration's outreach to the General Assembly and stakeholder groups. Practiced in leading a gubernatorial legislative team, she has expertly identified emerging issues in K12 reform, developed and implemented policy initiatives, and secured passage of key reforms that help ensure all students receive a world class education. Prior to joining the Administration as Director of Legislative Affairs, Julia Ciarlo Hammond was Virginia State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, the Commonwealth's leading small business association. Previously, she served as Director of Government Relations for the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. She also served in the Office of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, and as a legislative aide to Delegate David Albo. Hammond earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Mary Washington.
Doug Mesecar of Aldie, Founder of Adeptio Education and Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Innovation and Improvement for the U.S. Department of Education
Mesecar brings significant expertise in federal and state-level education policy encompassing funding, policy-making, innovation and business development. Mesecar previously led the Office of Innovation and Improvement, directing the implementation of the charter, choice, tutoring, teacher quality, and technology provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as identifying innovative approaches to reform and improvement and provided budgetary and administrative oversight for over 30 grant programs. Mesecar began as a teacher in Colorado and currently is founder of Adeptio Education, a government relations and consulting business for education organization, and co-owns a Sylvan Learning Center in Northern Virginia. Mesecar earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Hope College and completed post-graduate education at the University of Denver. Mesecar and his family live in Loudoun County, and his two children attend Loudoun County Public Schools.
Dr. John Nunnery of Norfolk, Executive Director, The Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University (ODU)
Dr. Nunnery leads the ODU Center for Educational Partnerships. He is an expert in school restructuring and reform, educational evaluation, testing and measurement, strategic planning, and accountability. Nunnery holds an Ed.D. from the University of Memphis in Educational Psychology and Research, in addition to degrees from Rhodes College and Memphis State University. His previous appointments include Director of the Bureau of Educational Research and Services at the University of Memphis, Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University, and Executive Director of Research, Standards, and Accountability for Memphis City Schools. He has served two terms as President of the Comprehensive School Reform Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.
Anne S. O'Toole of Manakin-Sabot, Retired Principal for Chesterfield County Public Schools and Educational Consultant
O’Toole is an educational consultant whose passion is empowering educators to implement student-centered, inquiry-based, “best practices” for instruction. Anne spent 41 years as a teacher, reading specialist, K-12 language arts supervisor, and elementary principal in Richmond City and Chesterfield County. She was the principal of the first Expeditionary Learning School in Virginia, Robious Elementary (2005), which was identified as a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence under her leadership. Still passionate about improving instruction, she now works with the Virginia Department of Education, the Governor’s Office of Education, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University to inspire principals and teachers. Currently, she is traveling throughout Virginia to implement a series of trainings on empowering teachers as leaders of successful school leadership teams. Anne holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Senate of Virginia Appointments**The Senate Committee on rules announced appointments to the OEI Board on April 2nd
Senator Ryan T. McDougle (R - Hanover)
Senator Kenneth C. Alexander (D - Norfolk)
House of Delegates Appointments**Speaker Howell announced his appointments to the OEI Board by press release on September 26th
Delegate Richard P. Bell (R - Staunton)
Delegate Daun Sessoms Hester (D - Norfolk)
About the Opportunity Educational Institution
The OEI, which was created through legislation passed during the 2013 General Assembly Session, will focus on turning around chronically failing, or underperforming, public schools in the Commonwealth to provide a high quality education for children attending any failing public elementary, or secondary school.
Consistent with the Constitution of Virginia, “it is desirable for the intellectual, cultural, and occupational development of the people of the Commonwealth . . . . to ensure that an educational program of high quality is established and continually maintained for all students throughout the Commonwealth.” This law establishes a statewide Opportunity Educational Institution to provide a high quality education for children attending any failing public elementary or secondary school. The Opportunity Educational Institution will be uniquely positioned to turnaround failing schools and provide all students the opportunity they deserve. While this model is new to Virginia, it is proven nationally. States like Louisiana and Tennessee have created Recovery and Achievement districts and the results are positive.