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Five Leaders Named by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to National Assessment Governing Board, Overseeing The Nation's Report Card

Five Leaders Named by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to National Assessment Governing Board, Overseeing The Nation’s Report Card


WASHINGTON (August 1, 2013)—Five education leaders from around the country—including a state legislator, elementary school principal, testing and measurement expert, and two parent/general public members—have been appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board to serve four-year terms, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today. Four leaders were reappointed and one, a former New Jersey education commissioner and current education advisor, is a newcomer. Terms for all members officially begin October 1, 2013, and are slated to end September 30, 2017.

The appointees will help set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation's Report Card. NAEP makes objective information on student performance available to policymakers and the public at the national, state and local levels for nearly a dozen subjects. NAEP has served an important role in evaluating the condition and progress of American education since 1969.

“These experienced and dedicated individuals play an important role in the field of education and I am grateful for their service,” Secretary Duncan said. “Their commitment to excellence will help guide our effort to give every child a college- and career-ready education. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” 

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 on which students will be tested, sets the achievement levels for reporting, and releases the results to the public.

The new Governing Board member, Lucille E. Davy, is a former attorney, professor and parent leader who now works as an education policy consultant in New Jersey. The four reappointed members include Doris Hicks, a New Orleans elementary and middle school principal; Tonya Miles, a Maryland general public/parent representative; W. James Popham, an author and UCLA professor emeritus; and Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. The Governing Board members and the categories they represent are detailed below:

  • Lucille E. Davy (Pennington, N.J.; general public representative): As president and CEO of Transformative Education Solutions, LLC, Davy serves as senior advisor for The James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. Davy started her career as a lawyer and adjunct professor of mathematics, a subject for which she received a bachelor’s degree and K-12 teacher certification for New Jersey. She later served as a volunteer and leader for a variety of parent groups and organizations in Westfield Public Schools in New Jersey. Her experience led her to serve as special counsel for education policy for the New Jersey governor’s office and as an education policy advisor for several entities, including the state’s Committee for Working Families. From 2005 to 2010, Davy served as New Jersey’s commissioner of education, overseeing more than 2,400 schools in 600 districts that served 1.4 million children. Since 2010, Davy has, via her consulting firm and as a Hunt Institute advisor, focused on high school students’ college and career readiness after graduation and effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics.
  • Doris Hicks (New Orleans; elementary school principal): Hicks is principal and CEO of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology, the first public school to open in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. Hicks has contributed to the New Orleans public school system in numerous roles over the years, serving as an elementary school principal, area superintendent, teacher, and reading consultant. She has also served as president of the Principals Association of New Orleans Public Schools, the Louisiana Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the New Orleans Council of the International Reading Association. Dr. Hicks has received numerous awards and honors, including “Elementary School Principal of the Year” for the city of New Orleans, and recognition from groups such as the New Orleans chapter of the YWCA, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Yale University.
  • Tonya Miles (Mitchellville, Md.; general public representative): A parent of three children who graduated from Maryland public schools, Miles is chief departmental administrator for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. She works in the Office of the General Counsel of the commission, which oversees land use planning and a regional system of parks in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Miles is a former member of the Maryland State Board of Education and a longtime PTA member and officer. She also worked for the Association of American Medical Colleges as an administrator for the Medical College Admission Test. Miles also served as a former central office administrator for both the Prince George's County and the Baltimore City public school districts.
  • W. James Popham (Los Angeles; testing and measuring expert): Since 1991, Popham has served as professor emeritus of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Before this appointment, he served more than 30 years as a teacher and a professor. A prolific author of hundreds of books, reports, and journal articles related to instruction and assessment, including his newest book “Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know,” he has been a professor at UCLA since 1962. He has won numerous accolades, including recognition by UCLA Today as one of the top 20 professors of the 20th century, and the Award for Career Contributions to Educational Measurement presented in 2002 by the National Council on Measurement in Education.
  • Leticia Van de Putte (San Antonio; Democratic state legislator): Van de Putte, a pharmacist for 30 years, is Texas state senator for District 26, which represents a large portion of San Antonio. On January 8, 2013, she was unanimously elected by her colleagues to serve as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate's 83rd regular session, after which she was named to Texas Monthly's "10 Best Legislators" list. A former five-term state representative, she has represented Texas Senate District 26 since 1999. She became chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus in 2003 and was nominated as co-chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Sen. Van de Putte has held many leadership roles related to education issues. During her tenure as president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, she presided over a strategic partnership with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators to address the student racial achievement gap. And during her term as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, education became a large focus of the organization's policy agenda.

The members take office as the Governing Board is involved in several initiatives, including ongoing research on how NAEP can be used as an indicator of 12th-grade academic preparedness for college and job training; the first-ever NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment, to be given in 2014; other innovative computer-based assessments; and national outreach to parent leaders, with a focus on conveying the urgency of closing achievement gaps and improving student performance. The Governing Board has also created task forces whose members represent the business community and school leaders at the state level.

"It is a pleasure to see the return of four dedicated members whose committed leadership kept us moving forward, along with a new member whose vast education and policy experience will be a significant contribution,” said Governing Board Chair David P. Driscoll. “I am excited for the energy these members will bring to maintain NAEP as the gold standard of assessment.”

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

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Stephaan Harris