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Executive Director Bill Bushaw steps down in August.

National Assessment Governing Board Executive Director Bill Bushaw To Retire in August 2018

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy guidelines for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), will see its executive director, Bill Bushaw, retire in August 2018.

The Board was created by Congress in 1988 to oversee NAEP—otherwise known as The Nation's Report Card. NAEP is a large-scale assessment program that measures student achievement across the nation, in all states, and in 27 large urban districts. The 26-member independent and bipartisan Board comprises state, local, and federal officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the public.

As executive director, Bushaw, 69, is responsible for the execution of policies and projects initiated by the Board, and also serves as the Board's chief of staff.

During Bushaw's tenure, NAEP transitioned to a digitally based assessment from paper and pencil and added six districts to its urban district assessment initiative. Under his leadership, the Board adopted its first Strategic Vision, which will guide its work through 2020. The Strategic Vision calls for multiple efforts to ensure NAEP continues its innovative leadership, including strengthening partnerships and expanding the availability and use of NAEP resources. Currently, the Governing Board is re-examining the NAEP assessment schedule based on national priorities, and has launched a major initiative to identify measures of post-secondary preparedness.

"I greatly value Bill's leadership, enthusiasm, and commitment to supporting the Governing Board's work," said Tonya Matthews, the vice chair of the Governing Board and president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center. "Through his leadership, the Governing Board engaged in research, and this research allowed us to make significant decisions enhancing NAEP."

"It's been my honor to work for the Governing Board, and with our staff, and the staff at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)," said Bushaw. "Collectively, they are dedicated to NAEP and to upholding its reputation as the gold standard in student assessment."

"Over almost 50 years, I've done just about everything one can do in the education profession. Without question, this opportunity has been the most gratifying. I consider it the capstone of my career, and I'm thankful that the National Assessment Governing Board gave me this opportunity to serve."

Prior to joining the Board, Bushaw served as chief executive officer of Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK), a professional association of educators. Before PDK, Bushaw held numerous education leadership positions including deputy superintendent and chief academic officer at the Michigan Department of Education, and director of the Michigan North Central Association. He began his education career as a middle school teacher and high school principal. Bushaw also served in the United States Navy, active and reserve, retiring at the rank of Captain.

"One of Bill's strengths—and his lasting legacy for the Board—is his tremendous ability to build partnerships with education leaders and other stakeholders to promote the value of NAEP," said Board member Terry Mazany, who served as chair when Bushaw began his tenure. "During a time of great change, Bill's steady hand of leadership has ensured NAEP remains the gold standard of assessments."

The Board is conducting a comprehensive search for a new executive director. Visit the Board's website starting March 19 at for an announcement and more details.

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Stephaan Harris