The legislature and Governor Brown are ready to put a fork into one of former governor John Kitzhaber's biggest ideas - the Oregon Investment Board. The board of high profile corporate and education bureaucrats was intended to lead K-12 and higher education into the future along with the help of the state chief education officer, first Rudy Crew now Nancy Golden, past superintendent of Springfield schools. How exactly this was to happen has been a clear as mud, then and now.
As with Kitzhabers's pledge to do something about early childhood education, the OIB was rudderless from the beginning - a figment of Kitzhaber's imagination. Kitz spent 3 and 1/3rd terms in office re-arranging the deck chairs in health care and education without much to show for it as illustrated by the failure of the CoverOregon website, the defunding of education (K-12 and higher ed) and kicking the can on tax reform. In Kitzhaber "there simply was never a there, there" - just empty rhetoric.
The issue in Oregon is not reorganizing education it's the funding of education at all levels from K-12 to higher education. This requires a commitment to 1) getting rid of Measure 5; 2) ending the personal kicker; and 3) reforming Oregon's tax structure. As a Puzzle Palace watcher, there is no evidence anyone in Salem has the courage to face the music. Until they do, Oregon will limp along in education #47 out of 50 states, a education funding bottom feeder - the Mississippi of the West.
Not unlike Kitz in his blue blazer, jeans and cowboy boots, Oregon is all hat and no cattle.