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Lynch School of Education

Lynch School Professor Appointed to National Assessment Governing Board

Joseph O'Keefe, S.J.

WASHINGTON (August 20, 2012) — Father Joseph O’Keefe, S.J., a professor at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and a Catholic education scholar and leader, has been appointed to serve a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today. Five other Board members—three of them also new appointees—were announced as well. Their terms begin October 1, 2012.

O’Keefe, who has served as a professor and dean for 20 years, will serve in the category of “non-public school administrator or policymaker” on the Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as The Nation’s Report Card. NAEP is the country’s only nationally representative assessment of student achievement in various subjects, including mathematics, reading, writing, and science.

“We are delighted to have Joseph join the Board,” said Governing Board Chairman David Driscoll. “His remarkable work and research in education policy provides a background that will be a major asset in efforts to oversee The Nation’s Report Card—the most valuable benchmark we have for monitoring student progress nationally and for states and large urban school districts.”

O’Keefe, a Jesuit priest, has been a leader in the Catholic education community and a scholar of faith-related schools in the United States and abroad with several faculty appointments. O’Keefe had a role in numerous publications, presentations, and grants related to Catholic education and other education policy topics. Through the Lynch School, O’Keefe was involved in numerous projects, including teacher-effectiveness assessments and teacher-preparation curriculum. He also was responsible for the TIMSS/PIRLS International Study Center, which conducts large-scale assessments of academic achievement worldwide. His accolades include the F. Sadlier Dinger Award for contribution to Catholic education.

O’Keefe joins the Board as it is overseeing several important initiatives, including research on how NAEP can be used as an indicator of 12th-grade academic preparedness for college and job training; NAEP parent engagement, with a focus on conveying the urgency of closing achievement gaps and improving student performance; innovative computer-based NAEP assessments; and studies linking NAEP with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Congress established the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to oversee NAEP, which makes objective information on student performance available to policymakers and the public at the national, state and local levels. NAEP has served an important role in evaluating the condition and progress of U.S. educational achievement since 1969. Among many other duties, the Governing Board determines subjects to be tested, the test content, and achievement levels for each test, and works to inform the public about NAEP results.

O’Keefe joins a group of governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators and researchers, business representatives and members of the general public who make up the Board. In addition to O’Keefe, others appointed by Secretary Duncan today are listed below along with their hometown, category of appointment, and official title. The term for each member is slated to extend to September 30, 2016.

The additional new Board members and the categories they represent include:

·  Rebecca Gagnon, Minneapolis, Director of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education (local board of education representative): Since 2011, Gagnon has served as an elected board director of the district that includes 70 schools and 34,000 students, 70 percent of whom are minority. A parent of three children who attend Minneapolis Public Schools, Gagnon has served in a variety of paid and volunteer positions involving education and youth outreach, including as PTA president in Austin, Texas and as a parent volunteer in Singapore, working extensively with youth. She also has worked as a law clerk, legal research assistant, and event planner.

· Andrew Ho, Cambridge, Mass., Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (testing and measurement representative): At Harvard University since 2009, Ho conducts psychometric research on accountability metrics and teaches a variety of courses involving educational measurement and statistics. Over the years, Ho has extensively used NAEP data in research projects, publications, and presentations. His areas of analysis have included comparing score trends on NAEP and state tests and the testing of English language learners and students with disabilities. A recipient of numerous national awards and fellowships, he also is a member of the Future of NAEP Panel, appointed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Ho was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and served as an assistant professor of educational measurement and statistics at the University of Iowa.

· Terry Mazan, Chicago, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust (general public representative): Mazany oversees one of the nation’s largest community foundations that, over the past decade, has awarded more than $100 million in grant funds to nonprofit groups in the Chicago metropolitan area that aim to strengthen curriculum, improve teacher quality and principal leadership, and support the development of innovative school models. A 20-year veteran in education, Mazany has also served as the interim superintendent of Chicago Public Schools and as deputy and associate superintendent of Southfield Public Schools in Michigan and the Oakland Unified School District in California. Mazany also is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The continuing Board members and the categories they represent include:

· Anitere Flores, Miami, Florida State Senator (Republican state legislator): A state lawmaker for nearly a decade, Flores was elected to the Florida Senate in 2010, representing District 38, which consists of part of Miami-Dade County. From 2010 to 2012, she served as the Republican majority whip. Before her senatorial election, from 2004 to 2010, Flores represented District 114 in the Florida House of Representatives. She also served as Education Council policy chief from 2000 to 2002 in the state legislature and advised former Gov. Jeb Bush on statewide policies. From 2002 to 2004, Flores served as director of state relations for Florida International University. Her honors include the Florida Association of School Administrators’ Public Education Leader Award and the National Association of Social Workers’ Legislator of the Year.

· Sonny Perdue, Atlanta, Consultant and Former Governor of Georgia (Republican governor): From January 2003 until January 2011, Perdue served as Georgia’s governor. During his term, Perdue invested in long-term school reforms by creating new accountability measures and working to increase the high school graduation rate and students' preparedness for college and careers. A former state senator, he also pushed for the development of a comprehensive longitudinal data system and supported measures to enhance the comparability of student achievement at national and international levels. Perdue serves as founding partner of Perdue Partners, LLC, an Atlanta-based global trading company that facilitates U.S. commerce through trading, partnerships, consulting services, and strategic acquisitions.

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 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 America's students know and can do in various subject areas, and compares achievement between states, large urban districts, and various student demographic groups.

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