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New Board Members

Six National Leaders Named by Sec. Arne Duncan
to National Assessment Governing Board

Current Chair David Driscoll, Former Massachusetts
Education Chief, Reappointed

WASHINGTON, DC (November 17, 2010) — Six leaders from around the country representing fields that include education, business, and policymaking have been appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board to serve a four-year term, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today. He also announced the lone incumbent of this group—current Board chair David P. Driscoll, former Commissioner of Education for Massachusetts who has served since 2006—will remain at the helm.

Terms for all members began November 16, 2010 and are slated to last four years. The six appointees will help set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation's Report Card. The assessment makes objective information on student performance available to policy-makers and the public at the national, state, and local levels, and has served an important role in evaluating the condition and progress of American education since 1969.

"David Driscoll's commitment and leadership has been instrumental to the board, and these five community leaders will be great additions to the team," Secretary Duncan said. "I know their dedication to our children will help us as we work toward ensuring that all students are meeting grade-level standards and are ready for postsecondary education. We look forward to their contributions to the board."

In overseeing The Nation's Report Card, the 26-member Governing Board—a group of governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators and researchers, business representatives, and members of the general public—determines subjects and content to be tested and the achievement levels for reporting scores, and works to inform the public about the results.

The slate of newcomers, who range from a governor to an award-winning middle-school science teacher, collectively bring many decades of education-related experience. In addition, the choices bring more racial diversity to the Board with three appointees who are African-American, Hispanic, and Native American.

"The variety and impressive expertise of these members will ensure that the Governing Board continues to set the course for strong rigor in American education through its dedication to NAEP," said Governing Board Executive Director Cornelia Orr. "With Dr. Driscoll's leadership and desire to reach more of the American public, in particular, the Board can expand its horizons in its work."

The Board members and the categories they will serve under include:

  • David P. Driscoll (Melrose, Mass.; general public): Current Board chair who has served as a member since 2006. Driscoll was the 22nd Commissioner of Education for Massachusetts from 1998 to 2007, and has served more than four decades in public education and educational leadership, including positions as a secondary school mathematics teacher and local superintendent.
  • Shannon Garrison (South Pasadena, Calif.; fourth grade teacher): Fourth-grade teacher for Solano Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles. Garrison has won numerous honors including the Milken Family Foundation National Educator award in 2008. She also authored winning applications for the National Blue Ribbon School and California Distinguished School programs.
  • Brent Houston (Shawnee, Okla.; secondary school principal): Principal of Shawnee Middle School. Houston served as a vocal teacher and elementary principal before becoming principal in 2008 at Shawnee Middle, a school of 800 where 30 percent of students are Native American. His numerous honors include an appointment to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority Board of Directors and "Teacher of the Year".
  • Hector Ibarra (Iowa City, Iowa; eighth grade teacher): Middle school science teacher at the Belin Blank International Center and Talent Development at the University of Iowa and the 2010—2011 State Hygienic Laboratory ambassador. A 30-year veteran educator, Ibarra's expertise and influence have won him dozens of grants and honors, including a National Teacher of the Year Award in 2005 and a $30,000 Christa McAuliffe Fellowship. Ibarra has served as a consultant for many groups, including the University of Iowa, ACT, and the National Research Council.
  • Jack Markell (Dover, Del.; governor-Democrat): Governor of Delaware. In office since 2009, Markell has overseen major education reforms, including a pilot program to reward improving schools, and a new assessment system for students, which will debut statewide next year. He has been a leader in the national Common Core State Standards initiative and saw his state named as the top scorer in the national Race to the Top competitive federal grant program.
  • Blair Taylor (Los Angeles; business representative): President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. Taylor has supervised several initiatives, including the nationally recognized Greater Crenshaw Educational Partnership that has worked to improve graduation rates and lower dropout rates at Crenshaw High School. Over the last two decades, Taylor has held high-level executive positions at several businesses, including IBM and Pepsi. He was most recently executive vice president of the College Summit, a national college access initiative with outreach to 6,000 low-income, part-time students annually

More information about the Governing Board can be found at More information about The Nation's Report Card can be found at

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.