Policy & Advocacy | News

Cator To Step Down from Office of Ed Tech

Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the United States Department of Education, is stepping down from her office, according to two reports.

In an interview with edSurge, Cator revealed that she plans to leave the office in early 2013. The Office of Ed Tech posted a link to the interview on Twitter with the comment: "Yes - it's official - but no timeline yet!"

Education Week reported that she confirmed her departure via e-mail.

Cator came to the Office of Educational Technology back in November 2009. Prior to joining ED, she served as director of education leadership and advocacy at Apple and was chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills from September 2006 to September 2007. (The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is an advocacy group focused on integrating 21st century skills into the curriculum in K-12 education.)

The Office of Educational Technology (OET) at ED helps implement research projects, develop policies, and organize summit meetings. During her tenure with the office, the Department of Education released the National Education Technology Plan, a federal policy statement that put technology at the heart of proposed changes to the way education is delivered in this country.

The plan, released in final form in November 2010, emphasized fundamental changes to classroom instruction, including the adoption of practices in use by business and the extension of learning (including both longer school days/years and access to learning via the Internet). The plan also called for increased flexibility in academic schedules and a reduction of the emphasis on "seat time" to determine student promotion through grade levels.

There has been no formal notice about her departure issued by ED, and in neither report did Cator provide a specific timeline for her departure or name a potential replacement. We'll post additional details when they become available.


About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .