U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today the appointment of six education leaders from across the country to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) for four-year terms. Two appointees were reappointed for a second term. The appointees include a school board director, former governor, state senator, education foundation president and CEO, testing expert, and non-public school representative.
Terms for all members officially begin October 1, 2012, and end September 30, 2016. The appointees will help set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. NAEP makes objective information on student performance available to policymakers and the public at the national, state, and local levels. Since 1969, NAEP has served an important purpose in evaluating the condition and progress of American education.
“The Governing Board plays a crucial role in ensuring that The Nation’s Report Card reflects the results of a challenging assessment of our K-12 students,” Duncan said. “We can be sure that the Board’s insight, wisdom and recommendations will help sustain the NAEP assessment as a barometer for what our students know and can do in the core subjects.”
In overseeing The Nation’s Report Card, the 26-member Governing Board – a group of governors, state legislators, state and local school officials, educators, researchers, business representatives, and members of the general public – determines subjects and content to be tested, sets the achievement levels for reporting scores, and releases the results to the public.
The slate of four newcomers includes a member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education, the president and chief executive officer of The Chicago Community Trust, a Harvard University assistant professor, and a Boston College tenured professor. Reappointed members Anitere Flores and Sonny Perdue serve, respectively, as a state senator based in Miami and a former governor of Georgia.
The new Board members and the categories they represent include:
Rebecca Gagnon, Minneapolis, Director of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education (local board of education representative): Since 2011, Gagnon has served as an elected board director of the district that includes 70 schools and 34,000 students, 70 percent of whom are minority. A parent of three children who attend Minneapolis Public Schools, Gagnon has served in a variety of paid and volunteer positions involving education and youth outreach, including as PTA president in Austin, Texas and as a parent volunteer in Singapore, working extensively with youth. She also has worked as a law clerk, legal research assistant, and event planner.
Andrew Ho, Cambridge, Mass., Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (testing and measurement representative): At Harvard University since 2009, Ho conducts psychometric research on accountability metrics and teaches a variety of courses involving educational measurement and statistics. Over the years, Ho has extensively used NAEP data in research projects, publications, and presentations. His areas of analysis have included comparing score trends on NAEP and state tests and the testing of English language learners and students with disabilities. A recipient of numerous national awards and fellowships, he also is a member of the Future of NAEP Panel, appointed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Ho was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and served as an assistant professor of educational measurement and statistics at the University of Iowa.
Terry Mazany, Chicago, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust (general public representative): Mazany oversees one of the nation’s largest community foundations that, over the past decade, has awarded more than $100 million in grant funds to nonprofit groups in the Chicago metropolitan area that aim to strengthen curriculum, improve teacher quality and principal leadership, and support the development of innovative school models. A 20-year veteran in education, Mazany has also served as the interim superintendent of Chicago Public Schools and as deputy and associate superintendent of Southfield Public Schools in Michigan and the Oakland Unified School District in California. Mazany also is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Father Joseph O’Keefe, S.J. Chestnut Hill, Mass., Professor at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education (non-public school administrator or policymaker representative): Since 1992, O’Keefe has served as a professor and dean for the Lynch School, as well as a leader in the Catholic education community. He is a scholar of faith-related schools in the United States and abroad, with many faculty appointments. O’Keefe had a part in numerous publications, presentations, and grants related to Catholic education and other education policy topics. Through the Lynch School, O’Keefe was involved in projects that included teacher-effectiveness assessments and teacher-preparation curriculum. He also was responsible for the International Study Center for the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)/Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which conducts large-scale assessments of academic achievement worldwide. His accolades include the F. Sadlier Dinger Award for contribution to Catholic education.
The continuing Board members and the categories they represent include:
Anitere Flores, Miami, Florida State Senator (Republican state legislator): A state lawmaker for nearly a decade, Flores was elected to the Florida Senate in 2010, representing District 38, which consists of part of Miami-Dade County. From 2010 to 2012, she served as the Republican majority whip. Before her senatorial election, from 2004 to 2010, Flores represented District 114 in the Florida House of Representatives. She also served as Education Council policy chief from 2000 to 2002 in the state legislature and advised former Gov. Jeb Bush on statewide policies. From 2002 to 2004, Flores served as director of state relations for Florida International University. Her honors include the Florida Association of School Administrators’ Public Education Leader Award and the National Association of Social Workers’ Legislator of the Year.
Sonny Perdue, Atlanta, Consultant and Former Governor of Georgia (Republican governor): From January 2003 until January 2011, Perdue served as Georgia’s governor. During his term, Perdue invested in long-term school reforms by creating new accountability measures and working to increase the high school graduation rate and students' preparedness for college and careers. A former state senator, he also pushed for the development of a comprehensive longitudinal data system and supported measures to enhance the comparability of student achievement at national and international levels. Perdue serves as founding partner of Perdue Partners, LLC, an Atlanta-based global trading company that facilitates U.S. commerce through trading, partnerships, consulting services, and strategic acquisitions.
The members take office as the Governing Board is involved in several important initiatives, including research on how NAEP can be used as an indicator of 12th-grade academic preparedness for college and job training; NAEP parent engagement, with a focus on conveying the urgency of closing achievement gaps and improving student performance; innovative computer-based NAEP assessments; and studies linking NAEP with TIMSS.