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April 25 Webinar on Urban Districts and Common Core

Urban Districts Share How They Use NAEP to Prepare for the Common Core


On April 25, the National Assessment Governing Board sponsored a webinar exploring how some of the nation's largest urban school districts-already facing a myriad of challenges-are adapting to the sweeping changes in curriculum, testing, and teaching from the Common Core State Standards and using data and tools from the National Assessment of Educational Progress as a resource. The webinar featured insight from national, state, and local experts (listed below).


TUDA Districts and the Common Core: Strategies and Resources

Informative panel discussion addressing the challenges of implementing Common Core State Standards and the benefits of using data and tools from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Hear perspectives from Chicago and Albuquerque public schools systems - two districts from the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) that have already begun the CCSS transition; the state of Kentucky, which provided guidance to TUDA participant, Jefferson County (Louisville); the National Assessment Governing Board; the Council of the Great City Schools; and the National Center for Education Statistics.

TUDA Districts and the Common Core: Strategies and Resources

Meet the Panelists:

Superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools

Winston Brooks has been superintendent for Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), New Mexico's largest public school district with nearly 90,000 students and 14,000 employees, for four years. Beforehand, he spent more than 10 years as the superintendent for Wichita Public Schools in Kansas. His career in education spans more than three decades.

Superintendent Brooks and the APS Board have set forth four goals including improving academic performance while closing the achievement gap, enhancing family and community engagement, financial stewardship, and school safety.

Brooks has been recognized for his leadership, receiving numerous awards including the 2011 CEO of the Year by the New Mexico Business Weekly, 2011 Nominee for New Mexico Superintendent of the Year, 2010 New Mexico Foundation for Open Government's William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award and the 2010 De Colores Leadership Award in Education. He also received the Friends of the Family Award from the Kansas Black Expo in 2007. He was a finalist in 2010 and 2006 for the Council of the Great City Schools Richard R. Green Award, the nation's highest urban education honor. In 2004, Brooks was the recipient of the Fulbright Program — Seminar for U.S. Superintendents in Germany; and the Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award.

Brooks serves on several boards and commissions including the executive committee of the Council of the Great City Schools, the American Association of School Administrators, the Education Research and Development Institute, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Superintendent's Community Council on Equity, and the United Way of Central New Mexico Board of Directors. He is an honorary commander of Kirtland Air Force Base and an ex-officio member of the APS Education Foundation Board of Directors.

Director of Language Arts and Literacy, Council of the Great City Schools

Robin Hall is the Director of Language Arts and Literacy for the Council of the Great City Schools. She keeps members informed about research on systems and successful strategies for improving student achievement. Dr. Hall also provides support for development and dissemination of information and tools to implement the Common Core State Standards.

She has served in various capacities for Atlanta Public Schools, including Executive Director of K-8 schools, Principal, K-12 Language Arts Coordinator, Instructional Liaison Specialist, Language Arts Department Chairperson and high school language arts teacher, constituting over twenty-five years of educational experience. Dr. Hall has also served on the Council of Great City Schools support teams in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and professional development.

In 2006, Dr. Hall was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board, where she served until 2010. Her Board responsibilities included selecting content for the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the subjects to be tested; identifying learning objectives for each grade tested and appropriate achievement goals; and ensuring that all items selected for use in the assessment are free from racial, cultural, gender and regional biases.

She received her B.A. Degree in English from Vassar College and received her M.A. and D.A.H. degrees from Clark Atlanta University.

Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education and member, National Assessment Governing Board

Dr. Terry Holliday was selected as Kentucky's fifth commissioner of education in July 2009.

Dr. Holliday served as superintendent of the more than 20,000-student Iredell-Statesville school district from 2002 until 2009. Under his leadership, the district received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, created by an act of Congress in 1987 to recognize companies, organizations, businesses and other entities that have shown long-term improvement in quality and productivity.

His previous experience includes serving as superintendent, associate superintendent, director of accountability, principal, assistant principal, director of instrumental music and band director in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In December 2010, Holliday was named to the board of directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers. In September 2011, he was appointed to serve a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board. In February 2012, he was named as a member of the national Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting, which will develop rigorous accreditation standards for educator preparation that will raise the bar for preparation providers.

Dr. Holliday is the co-author of Running All the Red Lights: A Journey of System-Wide Educational Reform. He earned a bachelor's degree from Furman University; a master's degree and education specialist degree from Winthrop University; and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

Statistician, National Center for Education Statistics

Dr. Emmanuel Sikali is the Assessment Division Director of Training for the National Center for Education Statistics. His responsibilities include conducting training workshops on analysis of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data and ensuring the quality of NAEP data sets and software.

Dr. Sikali is also the science content specialist for the division, and has a Ph.D. in physics. Among his other accomplishments, Dr. Sikali has directed studies of the validity of NAEP assessments conducted in Puerto Rico, and was instrumental in designing a recent study of adaptive testing.

Director of Special Projects for the Office of Instruction, Chicago Public Schools

Did Swartz is currently Director of Special Projects in the Chicago Public School's (CPS) Office of Instruction. After graduating from Northwestern University, Ms. Swartz began her career in education as a primary grades teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools. She also held various leadership roles, including serving on her school's Instructional Leadership Team and as a faculty advisor to Teach For America corps members in summer training. Ms. Swartz then returned to Chicago, her hometown, where she received her Master's in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Upon graduating, she joined the CPS as a Performance Management Consultant to six CPS Chief Area Officers (CAOs). In this role, she helped CAOs develop metrics to track the progress of both student outcomes and school strategies.

In her current position, Ms. Swartz's primary role has been managing the implementation of the Common Core Standards for CPS. CPS has been helping teachers and administrators prepare for the shift to the Common Core Standards through a multi-year plan that phases in all Literacy strands and Math domains by 2014. This plan is supported through layers of professional learning and resource development. Part of Didi's role includes managing work with a group of pilot schools (the Early Adopters) to help develop planning tools and unit/lesson exemplars, and professional development with CPS Networks (regional school management) to help empower them to lead their schools in planning.

Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board (Moderator)

Cornelia Orr is the Executive Director of The National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. She provides support for members of the Governing Board regarding all matters being considered by the Board. Additionally, she oversees the development and implementation of the Board's budget and procurement activities and works collaboratively with the Board staff to implement Board policies and actions.

Prior to joining the Board, Dr. Orr served the Florida Department of Education as the Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Accountability from 2003-2009. In that capacity she provided leadership and direction for Florida's K-12 and post-secondary assessment programs. Her career has involved assessments at both the local and state levels, including Director of K-12 Assessment, Director of Testing and Evaluation with the Leon County Schools, and a program specialist with the DOE on a variety of other assessment projects. Other professional experiences have included teaching assessment topics at the university level and work in the private sector as a consultant on assessment and evaluation projects for local, state, and national level organizations.

Dr. Orr earned both a doctorate and a master's degree in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation from Florida State University. She also earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of West Florida.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—also known as The Nation's Report Card—is the only continuing, nationally representative measure of what students know and can do in key subject areas.


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.