Governor’s education advisor will lead state teacher standards and licensing agency
Gov.-elect Tina Kotek, center, participates in a conversation about early childhood education needs at the Head Start of Yamhill County. (Julia Shumway/Oregon Capital Chronicle)
Gov. Tina Kotek’s education advisor will soon lead the state agency in charge of licensing teachers and enforcing standards.
The 17-member Teacher Standards and Practices Commission voted unanimously in a special meeting Tuesday to appoint Melissa Goff executive director for the agency. She’ll start Thursday.
Goff replaces Anthony Rosilez, who was appointed by the commission in 2018. Rosilez informed the commission of his desire to resign this summer, and will officially step down effective Nov. 3, according to the meeting notes and Danny Moran, a spokesperson for Kotek. Rosilez did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Goff has served as Kotek’s education advisor since January, specifically to coordinate improvements and historic investments in literacy and early learning across state education agencies. Goff also did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
About 40% of Oregon fourth graders and one-third of Oregon eighth graders scored “below basic” on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as the “nation’s report card.” That means they struggle to read and understand simple words.
“The governor is focused on the work TSPC does with educator prep, and she has a lot of trust in Melissa to go do this work,” Elisabeth Shepard, a spokesperson for Kotek, said. “The governor’s emphasis on early literacy shines through on this decision. Having somebody at the helm who has good expertise on this made a whole lot of sense.”
Goff comes to the job with no higher education leadership experience. She spent the bulk of her career as a K-12 public school district superintendent in Philomath, Albany and Portland. She was deputy executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association for three months before joining Kotek’s staff.
“Logic is she cares a lot about educators, and part of TSPC’s work is setting teachers up to go off and into a K-12 setting. We feel her expertise is there,” Shepard said.
In May, Kotek appointed a council to investigate and evaluate reading instruction at the state’s educator preparation programs and determine whether it’s aligned with decades of research on how best to teach reading. The goal is to update the teacher licensing process so all new teachers licensed in Oregon demonstrate they understand how best to teach all kids to read.
Read the Capital Chronicle’s three part special investigation on reading:
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