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Governing Board Director To Step Down

Governing Board Executive Director Steps Down After Nearly 6 Years


National Assessment Governing Board Executive Director Charles Smith will step down August 2 to become Vice President and head of the Washington, DC, office of ACT, the Governing Board announced today.

Since January 2003, Smith has been the executive director of the Board, an independent and bipartisan federal panel that sets policy on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as the Nation's Report Card. Beginning on August 4, Smith will assume his new position with ACT, where his primary responsibility will be shaping an expanded base of operations.

"This has been one of the most productive and enjoyable experiences in my 40-year career in education and government leadership," said Smith, who is in the third year of his second three-year term. "Thanks in large measure to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding Board members, we can take pride in what's been accomplished in this pivotal decade of change for NAEP and the Governing Board."

The board's next meeting, to be held in Washington, DC, from July 31-August 2, will be Smith's last. During this quarterly meeting, the Board will make decisions on its operations during the interim and set up a process to eventually select Smith's successor.

"Dr. Smith has been a dedicated and effective leader," said Board Chairman Darvin Winick. "His contributions to the Governing Board have been important and he will be missed. We wish him continued success in his new role."

Smith is a veteran of education administration, including service as Tennessee's Commissioner of Education and Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. Smith was commissioner when Tennessee became the first state in the nation to publish detailed report cards for every public school in the state. He began similar report cards for all 46 schools in the Board of Regents system in his six years as chancellor.

Stephaan Harris

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States. It has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through the Nation's Report Card, NAEP informs the public about what American students know and can do in various subject areas and compares achievement between states, large urban districts, and various student demographic groups.
The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to oversee and set policy for NAEP.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Center for Education Statistics, within the Institute of Education Sciences, administers NAEP. The Commissioner of Education Statistics is responsible by law for carrying out the NAEP project.