By KARA BROOKS
State of Indiana
Governor Mike Pence signed Executive Order 14-11 to dissolve the Center for Education and Career Innovation, effective on or before Friday, Feb. 20.
“We launched the Center for Education and Career Innovation to advance learning outcomes for Hoosier students and adult workers, and they have done that,” said Pence. “Unfortunately, for all the good work the talented staff at CECI has done, controversy surrounds the agency, so in the interest of restoring harmony and trust in education I am dissolving the Center and working through other avenues to continue aligning statewide efforts in education and workforce development so Indiana can prosper.”
CECI has numerous accomplishments in the past 18 months, including the completion of the Career Council’s strategic plan and establishment of 11 regional Works Councils, which are working with more than 200 education and business leaders across the state.
CECI has distributed $3 million in innovative curriculum grants to 18 new work-to learn programs engaging 1,700 students in key business sectors across the state. Those funds have been matched with more than $4 million in private business funds. In addition, Career and Technical Education awareness campaigns are launching regionally, with increasing efforts to inform students and parents of available career and training opportunities.
CECI partnered with the Indiana Department of Education to develop new, more rigorous academic standards, and to revise Indiana’s A through F school accountability system. As the Governor’s legislative team for education and workforce matters, CECI also worked with legislators to achieve bipartisan support for Indiana’s first pre-K pilot program, which is now accepting applications for 2015.
“I commend Claire Fiddian-Green, special assistant for education Innovation, and Jackie Dowd, special assistant for career innovation, for their work to engage, connect and align Indiana’s education and workforce efforts,” said Governor Pence. “Their leadership has laid the groundwork for continued innovation and coordination between employers and educators, ultimately ensuring the success of Hoosiers, our workforce, and Indiana’s economy, and we are indebted to them for their service.”
The five agencies that operated under the CECI umbrella, including the Indiana Career Council, the Regional Works Councils, the Education Roundtable, the State Board of Education, and the Indiana Network of Knowledge, will continue with their statutory obligations. The State Board of Education, as well as the other four business units, will be responsible for hiring and managing its own staff.
Upon the agency’s dissolution, Dowd will take on a new role as Chief Operating Officer at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Fiddian-Green will join the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation as President and Chief Executive Officer, and her position as Special Assistant to the Governor for Education Innovation will be filled in a timely manner.
The Executive Order can be found here .