Draud said two words that will define his work are cooperation and collaboration.
"We've got to get people cooperating together to be successful," he said.
One of his top priorities when the General Assembly meets in January will be to get funding for early childhood education. Another priority will be to help every school meet the state's goal of reaching proficiency status by 2014 in the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System.
"A high percentage of elementary schools are on track to be proficient by that time," said Joe Brothers, chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education. But the number drops to 25 percent of middle schools, he said, and 12 percent of high schools.
Asked whether meeting the 2014 goal was possible, Draud said, "I wouldn't have taken the position if I didn't think it was possible." But, he added, "It's going to be a very, very difficult challenge."
It will take participation of business and civic leaders working with educators to create "a sense of urgency" about education. Draud plans to ask the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to spearhead regional meetings to champion education.
"We can't do it just with teachers and administrators and school superintendents," he said.
"I am confident that I can provide the leadership necessary to accomplish the education goals of our commonwealth," he said. "I feel very well-prepared for this position. Kentucky's education stakeholders have offered tremendous support, and I feel a sense of urgency to rekindle the spirit of the reform movement of 1990 so that our schools can reach proficiency." ...
...Brothers said one factor that helped board members decide that Draud was the best person for the job was "the number and the status of folks who wrote letters of support for him."
He said diverse groups such as the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, the Education Professional Standards Board, the Kentucky School Boards Association and the Kentucky Education Association all supported Draud as their top candidate.
Bill Scott, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association, said yesterday that Draud's background as both a state legislator and a public school educator will give him a unique opportunity to "bridge both worlds as education
"His experience will give him a tremendous network of relationships to draw on as he helps lead Kentucky schools forward," Scott said.