Friends and Colleagues,
I am writing to let you know that I will soon be stepping down as Secretary of Education. I have been honored to serve Governor Patrick in this role for the past, nearly five years and in the role of state Board of Education chair before that. The Governor recently asked all his senior officials to make a two year commitment to coincide with the end of his second term. Because of other interests and commitments, I could not commit for two full years, so I will be departing in January and returning to the Harvard University Graduate School of Education where I will continue teaching while pursuing a variety of other projects.
I have loved, and still love, my job, my colleagues and this work. I have been privileged to work with Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and you on the most urgent work of our time, the challenge of educating all of our children for success in the 21st century. We have accomplished a great deal, but we still have a long way to go. As proud as I am of what we have achieved together from Race to the Top to the Achievement Gap Act of 2010, from the Early Learning Challenge Grant to the UMass School of Law, from the Vision Project to our recent community college reforms, and so much more, I am acutely aware that we still have deep, persistent achievement gaps to close. I am ecstatic to see our continuing stream of nation-leading, sometimes world-leading student achievement results, but when I visit early childhood centers, schools and colleges, I am regularly reminded of the daily challenges facing those students striving to obtain a first class education and those educators straining to provide that education.
Like so many of you, I have made a lifetime commitment to this work, to finishing the job. This career change for me means the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. I will continue to do the work, approaching it now from a different angle, attacking the challenges, once again, from outside of government .
I look forward to continuing to work with you and to supporting my exceptional successor, Matt Malone, and our extraordinary team in the Executive Office of Education, our outstanding, education leaders, Commissioners Freeland, Chester and Killins and President Caret, the Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Higher Education and the University of Massachusetts. We will all continue to work in partnership with our education providers and the myriad associations, philanthropies, non-profits, independent universities, unions and advocacy groups who seek to make education in Massachusetts the best in the world.
I thank Governor Patrick for having given me this once in a lifetime opportunity, and I thank you for your commitment, continuing service and partnership with me over the years. I look forward to working with you all in the future.