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Board Member Testimonials



Like most Americans, I knew nothing of the Governing Board or NAEP prior to my own nomination. That quickly changed as I launched into my own education of assessment design, development and policy. With the help of a first class staff and fellow Board members who are dedicated to education and who are among the best in their fields, that learning was straightforward, albeit thought provoking and challenging. As a local policy maker, I have been able to return a wealth of information and data to my school district and state policy makers. This data has proven to be an important factor in our local discussions and decision making.

David Alukonis
Business Owner and Former Hudson School Board Chairman, New Hampshire
Board Category: Local School Board Member
Years of Service: 2004-present



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
Former Assistant Principal and Eighth-Grade Teacher, Colorado
Board Category: Eighth-Grade Teacher
Years of Service: 2002-2010



For over 30 years I have worked in the area of student assessment. This work has included various positions in both private industry and in the public sector. Now, as a member of the Governing Board, the challenges of student assessment have taken on a new focus – assessing the progress of students in the nation as a whole and in each of the 50 states plus some additional jurisdictions. Presenting the results of progress (or lack thereof) for these entities informs policy makers and the public of the health of our country's education system. It is an honor to be working on something this important.

Louis Fabrizio
Data, Research and Federal Policy Director for the
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina
Board Category: Testing and Measuring Expert
Years of Service: 2007-present



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, New York
Board Category: General Public Representative
Years of Service: 2006-present



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
Fourth-Grade Teacher at Toledo Public Schools, Ohio
Board Category: Fourth- Grade Teacher
Years of Service: 2002-2010



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
Board Category: Curriculum Specialist
Years of Service: 2007-present



It is an awesome responsibility to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress – The Nation's Report Card. The administration of NAEP and the dissemination of its results to the general public and to national, state, and local educational policymakers, underscore the urgency to improve the levels of student achievement in the U.S. and the urgency to reduce the size of achievement gaps by race, ethnicity, and income levels. My service as a Governing Board member is work to which I am most committed. In fact, it is encouraging to be led by a Board Chairman, work with fellow Board members and receive support from Board staff whose dedication to this work is unparalleled.

Tonya Miles
General Public Representative, Maryland
Board Category: General Public
Years of Service: 2009-present



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, New Hampshire
Board Category: Curriculum Specialist
Years of Service: 2007-present



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 of UCLA, Oregon
Board Category: Testing and Measurement Expert
Years of Service: 2009-present



The National Assessment Governing Board includes one seat specifically for non-public school representation. This is important as approximately 5.1 million students, Pre-K-12, are educated in these schools. As the member of the Board wearing this particular representation "hat," I have the opportunity to promote the importance of the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the resources available as a result of the caliber of test development and reporting to this important group of schools. It is also an opportunity to represent the reality and perspective of these schools in Board considerations. Personally being a member of the Governing Board ranks very high in terms of professional development, dialogue and educational social networking.

Mary Frances Taymans, SND
Former Executive Director, Secondary Schools Department of National Catholic
Educational Association and Governing Board Vice Chair, Washington, D.C.
Board Category: Non-Public School Administrator or Policymaker
Years of Service: 2004-present