Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology, is resigning his post at the end of the month, he confirmed in an email to EdScoop.
“Yes, I’m stepping down,” wrote Culatta, who has been in the post since 2011. “Very hard decision since we have such a great OET team.”
He added that he is returning to his home state of Rhode Island to take a job that will “help accelerate innovation there.” It’s a state government role, but it’s unclear what the exact job will be. He will also start a residency at IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Joseph South, his deputy, will take over as acting director for educational technology, according to an Education Department spokeswoman. He declined to comment.
South “will serve as acting director for educational technology and will carry forward the exciting and innovative work in the Office of Educational Technology,” wrote spokeswoman Dorie Nolt.
Culatta frequently traveled the country to unveil edtech initiatives like the National Education Technology Plan and tout programs like Future Ready Schools, which aims to help districts get the tools and infrastructure they need to adopt more digital curricula.
The Brigham Young University alum most recently helmed a new initiative called #GoOpen at the White House in October, which would make federally-backed educational resources free and openly licensed.
He’s not the only one who announced he’s leaving the agency – Education Secretary Arne Duncan is also stepping down this month. His deputy, John King, will take over.
Culatta “deserves much praise for energy and action at Office of EdTech,” consultant and edtech expert Doug Levin tweeted.