OKLAHOMA CITY —
Oklahoma Secretary of Education Phyllis Hudecki announced Tuesday she is resigning from her cabinet level post in order to resume full-time duties as executive director of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition.
While serving in the governor’s cabinet, Hudecki had served part-time as an executive for OBEC. The OBEC board of directors has asked Hudecki to lead the organization full-time as it prepares a new agenda designed to support K-12 education professionals and strengthen public schools.
Her resignation from the governor’s cabinet will be effective July 15.
“It has been an honor to serve on Governor Fallin’s cabinet and to play a role in making policy that will improve our schools and help Oklahoma’s children for years to come,” said Hudecki. “It’s also been satisfying to see a renewed focus on education as one of the most important drivers of economic growth and prosperity. Governor Fallin has been very clear that a highly educated, highly skilled workforce is the key to attracting and retaining good jobs to Oklahoma. Her policies have set the stage for significant workforce development and I thank her for her focus on the issue.”
During her time on Governor Mary Fallin’s cabinet, Hudecki played a key role in helping to design education reforms aimed at boosting student performance and accountability at public schools. These include the Reading Sufficiency Act, the creation of A-F grades now assigned to public schools, and the end of trial de novo, a costly legal appeals process making it difficult to dismiss chronically underperforming teachers.
Hudecki also played a lead role with Fallin in launching Oklahoma’s Complete College America (CCA) program, a workforce development initiative that seeks to dramatically increase the number of degrees and career certificates awarded in the state. In 2012, the amount of college degrees awarded in Oklahoma increased by 1900, exceeding the CCA goal.
“Phyllis has always been a tireless advocate for higher standards and greater accountability in education,” Fallin said. “I appreciate her work to better interface education and training programs with the needs of the business community, something that is absolutely vital to preparing our workforce for the high skill, high salary jobs we are trying to bring to Oklahoma. My thanks go out to Phyllis for her years of service and her continued dedication to improving education in Oklahoma. Though she is returning to the private sector, Phyllis will continue to be a tremendous source of information for my administration as we work to strengthen education. I look forward to continuing to draw on her expertise in her new role at OBEC.”