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Board Member Testimonials

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Serving as one of three teachers on the Board, I have come to appreciate both the complexity of the educational challenges we face and to admire the dedicated leaders at all levels who devote their lives to improving education in the U.S. Not only can I see the day-to-day life of classroom and school, but I now also perceive state, national, and international trends in education, the larger contexts in which individual schools operate, and the issues my own students will face as they grow toward adulthood in our increasingly global world.

Amanda Avallone
Assistant Principal and Eighth-Grade Teacher, Colorado



Serving on the Board delivered two huge benefits for me. First, I have had the chance to learn everything I always wanted to know about education assessment in America and how it can be done right. Second, it has been inspiring to see that the Board, staff, colleagues at the Department of Education, and the contractors are uniformly dedicated, competent, and incredibly efficient in producing and delivering our nation's premier assessment tool, year after year. Would that all our for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises operated nearly so well!

Alan Friedman
Consultant, Museum Development and Science Communication
General Public Representative, New York



Education has been the cornerstone of my life, as both a student and an educator. It was an honor to serve as the fourth-grade teacher on the National Assessment Governing Board for eight years. The Board, which serves the Nation's Report Card (NAEP), has been an integral part of how children in our country perform on assessments. The Board provided a personal and professional growth that I will treasure. Through this Board I felt I was able to have a voice in making decisions that will affect our youth. I have experienced many opportunities for which I am humbled and thankful.

Kim Kozbial-Hess
Educational Technology Trainer and Fourth- Grade Teacher, Ohio



At the heart of National Assessment Governing Board is a relatively simple mission, namely, to report to the citizens of our country the achievement levels of our youth in the form of our Nation's Report Card. Yet, fulfilling that mission requires the Board to critically monitor a process that ensures the integrity of data that has national implications. As a Governing Board member, I am constantly aware of my obligation to uphold the respected history of NAEP, and yet provide feedback to move these assessments in new directions. Service on this Board represents one of the most incredible opportunities for an individual to ensure that the American ideals of education move forward.

Henry Kranendonk
Mathematics Consultant and Curriculum Specialist, Wisconsin



Serving on the Board is one part daring and one part hard work and perspiration. We are perpetually challenged to wrestle with advances in educational assessment and policy that lie just beyond the horizon. Dare I say that along with our seriousness of purpose for our nation's students and schools, we laugh often and much? Governing Board meetings are the first dates I secure on my calendar each year.

Susan Pimentel
Educational Consultant and Curriculum Specialist, New Hampshire



For many years, my opinion of the Governing Board was decisively negative. I regarded its members as a stodgy lot who were more interested in polishing the glitter on NAEP's "gold standard" assessments than in improving the quality of American schooling. But I was wrong. After being appointed to the Board in late 2009, I discovered that the Board's 26 members are smart, caring, and practical people who do, indeed, want NAEP tests to help foster improved U.S. schooling. Board Chairman David Driscoll has recently called on the Board to "boldly stretch itself" so that NAEP's exceptionally fine tests cannot only monitor the nation's educational progress, but can also help spur it. I'm betting Chairman Driscoll and the Board will succeed!

W. James Popham
Emeritus Professor, UCLA
Testing and Measurement Expert, Oregon