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Nominations FAQ

Nominations FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the National Assessment
Governing Board's Nominations Process


The 2011-2012 Nominations Process


Submitting a Nomination

Selection Process and Timeline

About the Board

Board Roles and Functions

Term of Service on the Board

Board Service, Meetings, and Compensation




See our Who We Are flyer  for more information on the Board's responsibilities and composition, as well as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

What is the National Assessment Governing Board?
The National Assessment Governing Board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—known as "The Nation's Report Card". NAEP is the only nationally representative measure of what U.S. students know and can do in more than a dozen academic subjects. The assessment is widely recognized as the "gold standard" because educators, policy makers, parents, and other leaders see NAEP as the most accurate yardstick available on how well our nation's children are performing academically. The independent, bipartisan Board was created by Congress in 1988 to oversee this important effort.

What are the benefits of serving on the Board?
As part of the Board, members become influential leaders in the education world because of their decisions on the content and direction of "The Nation's Report Card—our country's unique, crucial, and highly-regarded measure of student academic achievement. Board members also lead efforts such as engaging parents at the national, state, and urban district level on ways to improve student achievement and close achievement gaps. Becoming a Board member also gives individuals an opportunity to work with many of the brightest and most influential people in education, government, and business in the U.S. and around the world.

What types of individuals serve on the Board?
The Board is made up of 26 members including governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, a local school superintendent, local and state school board members, principals, classroom teachers, curriculum and testing experts, a business representative, a representative of non-public schools, and members of the general public, including parents. By law, the Board's composition must reflect diversity in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic region of the country. The Board's current membership is listed here.



The 2011-2012 Nominations Process


Why is the Board seeking nominations for members?
Each year the 26-member Board conducts a broad-based national search for new members. Approximately five to seven new members are needed each year to replace Board members whose terms are expiring. The term of membership is four years and Board members may serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Having members with staggered terms is a legal requirement that fosters continuity and allows reasonable turnover in membership each year.

For which categories is the Board seeking nominations during the 2011-2012 nominations process?
The Board is seeking nominations for 2012 in five categories:

  • Testing and measurement expert
  • Local board of education member
  • State legislator (Republican)
  • Non-public school administrator or policymaker
  • General public representative.

There are no vacancies to be filled in other categories at this time.

When is the deadline for submitting nominations for 2012?
The deadline is September 30, 2011. Nominations submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than September 30.

What if I have additional questions about the nominations process?
Please contact Dr. Mary Crovo, Deputy Executive Director, via email at or by phone at 202-357-6941.

Submitting a Nomination

What information is required to submit a nomination?
Two pieces of information are required for each nominee:

  1. Nominating letter: This letter should state the category for which the individual is being nominated, and describe the candidate's qualifications as they relate to the Board's policy responsibilities for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. It can be a self-nomination letter, or a nomination by someone else.
  2. Full resume or curriculum vitae (c.v.): A full resume or vitae is necessary to evaluate a candidate's qualifications. Please note that a short biographical sketch is not sufficient for this purpose. The resume or c.v. must include the nominee's email address and daytime phone number.

Optional: Each nominee may submit a brief statement (250 words or less) explaining his/her interest in serving on the Board. This optional statement should be sent with the required information listed in 1 and 2 above.

How do I submit a nomination?
Nominations may be submitted in the following ways.
(The Board does not accept faxed nominations.)

  1. Via email to
    If the nomination is sent via email the Board does not require a hard copy.

  2. Via mail addressed to:
    Dr. Mary Crovo
    Deputy Executive Director
    National Assessment Governing Board
    800 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 825
    Washington, DC 20002-4233

  3. Delivered in person to the Board office at the above address.

Is there an online form to use in submitting a nomination?
No. Please see details about the nominations process under Submitting a Nomination.

Can individuals nominate themselves?
Yes. The process is the same for nominating others or self-nominations.

Can I submit more than one nomination?
Yes, you may submit nominations in one or more open categories. The Board accepts individual nominating letters or one letter for multiple nominees clearly stating the category for which each person is being nominated. All other requirements are the same as defined above.

Must an individual currently be serving in the position that fits the category for which he/she is nominated?
With the exception of governors, all nominees must be currently serving in a position in the category for which they are nominated. For example, a local school board member must be serving on that board at the time of nomination, as well as at the time of appointment to the Board. If, before appointment, a nominee changes positions and is no longer in the category for which he/she is nominated (e.g., a local board of education member leaves the school board), the nomination will be withdrawn from consideration. In the case of the governor position, this category may be filled by either a current or former state governor.

Selection Process and Timeline

What happens after I submit a nomination?
Both the nominee and the nominator are notified when the nomination has been received. If any information is incomplete, the nominator will be asked to submit the missing information.

The entire nominating process takes about a year, as noted in the following timeline:

  • September 30, 2011


Deadline for submitting nominations

  • Fall 2011/Winter 2012


Board's Nominations Committee reviews nominations and recommends a slate of six finalists in each open category

  • March 2012


Board takes action on the slate of six finalists in each open category

  • April 2012


Information on finalists is presented to the Secretary of Education

  • Spring/Summer 2012


Secretary and his/her staff review finalists

  • Late Summer/Fall 2012


Secretary announces Board appointments

  • October 1, 2012


Board member terms begin

When will nominees for 2012 learn whether they have been chosen as a finalist?
Following the Board's action in March 2012, all nominees will receive a letter informing them whether or not they have been selected by the Board as a finalist. Note that a nominee who was not selected as a finalist may be moved into the finalist category if a finalist withdraws his/her name from consideration (e.g., due to a change in position). In that case, the new finalist will receive notice as to the change in his/her status.

How does the Board evaluate nominees?
Each nominee is evaluated independently by three members of the Board's Nominations Committee. Committee members carefully review each nominee's qualifications for the category in which they are nominated, including experience and educational background, as well as other factors that relate to the Board's oversight and policy-setting role for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

How are Board members chosen?
Members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education from finalists submitted by the Board. In seeking nominees, the Board conducts a broad-based national search. The Board's Nominations Committee carefully reviews each candidate and presents a slate of six finalists in each open category to the full Board for action. Following Board action the slates of finalists are forwarded to the Secretary of Education for his/her decision.


About the Board

Board Roles and Functions

How are the Board's responsibilities determined?
Congress has assigned the Board specific policy-setting responsibilities for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, as outlined in P.L. 107-279. In overseeing The Nation's Report Card, the Board establishes the NAEP assessment schedule, identifies subjects to be tested, determines the content and achievement levels for each assessment, approves all test questions, and works to improve the reporting of results. The Board also works to inform the public about The Nation's Report Card by communicating its results to a wide range of Americans, including elected officials, educators, parents, business leaders, and the media.

How does the Board conduct its business?
The Board carries out its responsibilities through standing committees. Policy matters and related issues are presented and typically discussed by a committee at least one meeting in advance of the full Board taking action at a subsequent meeting.

What are the primary responsibilities of the Board's standing committees?
The Board conducts its work through five standing committees.

  • Assessment Development Committee (ADC) oversees development of NAEP frameworks, which define the content and design of the assessments. The ADC also reviews all NAEP test questions.
  • Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology (COSDAM) is responsible for all NAEP technical matters such as achievement level setting and sampling issues.
  • Reporting and Dissemination Committee (R&D) has responsibility for all matters relating to NAEP reporting, including the initial release of NAEP results.
  • Nominations Committee is responsible for soliciting and reviewing nominations for Board membership.
  • Executive Committee consists of the Board Chair and Vice Chair, as well as the Chair and Vice Chair of each standing committee. This committee addresses various Board-level issues such as the budget and NAEP schedule of assessments.

The Board also appoints ad hoc committees for specific purposes, as needed. For example, a new ad hoc committee on Parent Engagement was created in 2011.

Do all Board members serve on a committee?
Members are assigned to a standing committee by the Board Chair, based on the member's area of interest and expertise. The Chair and Vice Chair of the various committees serve on the Executive Committee. A member may also be assigned to the Board's Nominations Committee. As the need arises members may also volunteer to serve on an ad hoc committee.

How is the Board supported by staff?
The Board staff consists of 12 members including the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, as well as program staff with expertise in assessment development, psychometrics, policy, research, reporting, and communications. Additional staff are responsible for contracts, budget and finance, meeting planning, and administrative duties.

Term of Service on the Board

What is the term of service for Board members?
Board members serve four-year terms. A member may be appointed to a second four-year term. The legislative limit on Board service is two four-year terms.

When will the 2012 Board member term of service begin and end?
The 2012 Board terms will begin on October 1, 2012 and end on September 30, 2016.

If a Board member changes jobs during his/her term, must the member resign from the Board?
No, the member is permitted to serve the remainder of his/her term. For example, if a classroom teacher takes a position as a principal during his/her Board term, the member may continue to serve the remainder of the term in the "classroom teacher" category, but is not eligible for reappointment in that category.

Are Board member terms staggered?
Yes, approximately five to seven Board member terms expire each year, to ensure continuity and a reasonable turnover in membership each year.

Board Service, Meetings, and Compensation

Are Board members required to follow federal laws and regulations?
Board members are required to adhere to applicable federal laws and regulations and must take the federal Oath of Office. Prior to being appointed, members are required to complete a financial disclosure form that is reviewed by the Department of Education's Office of General Counsel to ensure that conflicts of interest do not exist. In addition, there are some restrictions regarding compensation from foreign countries.

What is the annual time commitment for Board members?
Members spend about 10-14 days per year on Board business such as attending Board meetings, travel, and meeting preparation, depending on their committee assignment(s). Additional time may be spent in committee meetings at other points during the year, usually via teleconference.

How often does the Board meet?
The full Board meets four times per year. Meeting dates are scheduled in advance and are posted on the Board's website. Two meetings per year are held in the Washington, DC area and two meetings are held in other U.S. cities. Committees of the Board may meet at other times, usually via teleconference.

What is the expectation for Board meeting attendance?
All members are expected to attend each quarterly Board meeting, since the schedule of meetings is posted several years in advance. If a member misses three consecutive Board meetings, the member may be dismissed from the Board. Board meetings usually have more than a 90 percent attendance rate.

On which days does the Board meet?
The Board's plenary session begins on Friday morning and concludes by noon on Saturday. Several Board committees may meet on Thursday and the Executive Committee convenes late Thursday afternoon. Frequently the Board holds an outreach event on Wednesday evening with local policymakers, educators, or other groups. This outreach event is optional for Board members.

If a member cannot attend a Board meeting, may the member send a representative?
According to the Board's by-laws, only the two state governors on the Board may send a representative, who is non-voting but may represent the views of the state governor. Other Board members are not allowed to send a representative to Board meetings.

Do Board members receive compensation?
Yes, members receive an honorarium of $100 per day while working on Board matters, including time spent on travel, meeting preparation, meeting attendance, and participation in teleconferences. Members are paid on a quarterly basis.

Does the Board pay travel and lodging expenses for members to attend Board meetings?
A member's travel to all Board functions is paid in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations. Board staff make all travel arrangements, in consultation with Board members. The cost of transportation and lodging is prepaid by the Board to minimize out-of-pocket expenses by members. Board members may make their own travel arrangements, but are reimbursed only up to the amount allowed under government regulations.

What type of briefing materials are provided for Board meetings?
Members receive comprehensive briefing materials approximately two weeks prior to each quarterly Board meeting. Materials are provided for each standing committee and for plenary sessions of the Board. The materials in the Board briefing book are available electronically or in hard copy form in a three-ring binder. In the near future, the Board plans to distribute materials in electronic form only.

Is additional guidance provided to new members to help them perform their duties?
Following appointment, the entire "class" of new members is provided with an in-person orientation to familiarize them with their responsibilities. This one-day orientation meeting is held in Washington DC, approximately one month prior to the members' first Board meeting. New members are contacted soon after the Secretary announces their appointment to schedule the orientation meeting.


Where can I find more information about the Board and NAEP?
The Board's website— provides detailed information on our work. Information about the NAEP program may be found at and at

Stephaan Harris