Dr. Rudolph F. "Rudy" Crew became Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools on July 1, 2004, following a nationwide search by the nation's fourth-largest school district.
Dr. Crew has defined three priorities for the school district: eliminating low-performing schools,increasing academic achievement for all students and bringing cost-efficiency to the district's construction and business practices.
In August, 2004, the superintendent presented to the School Board a set of 22 specific, measurable targets for implementing his three priorities: boosting the number of students promoted to 4th grade and graduating from high school, spurring more schools to raise their state accountability grades, and speeding up the construction and repair of schools.
Prior to his inaugural opening of schools, Dr. Crew addressed principals and other school administrators and asked them to embrace three C's he considered essential to moving Miami-Dade County Public Schools forward: change, choices and courage. He asked administrators to accept the notion of change and the concept of taking back the high ground of good performance. He also asked administrators to make good choices, always keeping the best interest of students at heart, as well as to work with staff to build their capacity and to model professionalism in their daily lives. Finally, Dr. Crew asked school leaders to have courage to do the work in the years ahead, "It's about the courage to lead, to know when to say no, to be totally ethical, to be honorable in your intentions, to say what you mean and mean what you say, to me and to others in this organization."
Dr. Crew is a lifelong educator whose career has spanned from the classroom to the chancellorship of the nation's largest school district, New York City Public Schools, where he served from 1995-1999. He began his administrative career as principal of San Antonio High School in Claremont , California . Along his way to Miami , his career took him to Boston , Sacramento and Washington state.
Before being tapped for the leadership of Miami 's public schools, Dr. 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, Dr. Crew led a team that supported selected districts in comprehensive systems improvement.
Before joining the Stupski Foundation, Dr. Crew served as executive director of the Institute for K-12 Leadership (a partnership of the University of Washington in Seattle and WestEd, based in San Francisco ). Under Dr. Crew's direction, the Institute served educators and their colleagues as a community of support where ideas and initiatives were exchanged, evaluated, and aggregated for use in their work to close the achievement gap that separates this nation's minority and underserved students from their high-achieving counterparts.
During his 25 years as an educator, Dr. Crew has served as an administrator, a teacher, a college professor, and coordinator of special programs and staff development. Throughout his career, he has dedicated his talents and his energies to ensuring a quality education for children of all backgrounds. His work to close the student achievement gap - both nationwide and in districts in which he has served - includes the design and implementation of innovative after-school and Saturday programs, mandatory summer school, literacy campaigns, and an extended school day and school year to enable low-achieving students to catch up with their high-achieving peers.
As chancellor of New York City Public Schools, Dr. Crew led a number of reforms, including adoption of curriculum standards for all schools, elimination of tenure for principals, and school-based budgeting. He was instrumental in closing failing schools and replacing failing educators. He established the Math and Science Institute, an after-school and Saturday program to help poor black and Latino students boost their academic performance. He created a Superintendents and Principals' Institute (a forerunner of the Institute for K-12 Leadership) to cultivate and nurture school leadership. 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.
Dr. Crew's ability to connect with youth has made him a popular figure among students in the classrooms he visits in the course of his work. A believer in participatory teaching, he enjoys interacting with students and sharing in their challenges and their successes. He has long believed in passing on to others the opportunities that have been afforded him throughout his childhood and his adult life. He credits his father, whom he describes as both a stern taskmaster and a strong role model, with encouraging him to excel. Dr. Crew was the first male in his family to go to college, and he was among the first black students to integrate his undergraduate alma mater, Babson College .
A native of Poughkeepsie , New York , Dr. 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 his B.A. degree in management from Babson College in Wellesley , Massachusetts . He has served as an associate in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as adjunct assistant professor in urban education at California State University ; and as adjunct professor at Lesley College for its college outreach program, which is held on campuses across the nation.
Dr. Crew serves on numerous boards, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the New York Philharmonic and the Washington Association of Black School Educators. He is a recipient of many awards, including the NAACP Educational Leadership Award, the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award, and the Association of California School Administrators Administrator of the Year Award.