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2013 Nominations FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the National Assessment
Governing Board's Nominations Process


The 2012-2013 Nominations Process


Submitting a Nomination

Selection Process and Timeline

About the Governing Board

Board Roles and Functions

Term of Service on the Board

Board Service, Meetings, and Compensation


See our Who We Are flier for more information on the Board’s responsibilities and composition, as well as on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

What is the National Assessment Governing Board?
The National Assessment Governing Board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—known as “The Nation's Report Card.” NAEP is the only nationally representative measure of what U.S. students know and can do in 10 academic subjects. The assessment is widely recognized as the gold standard in testing, and educators, policymakers, parents, and other leaders see NAEP as the most accurate yardstick on how well our nation’s students are performing academically. The independent, bipartisan Governing Board was created by Congress in 1988 to oversee this important effort.

What are some of the Governing Board’s current focus areas?
The Board is pursuing a number of initiatives that have the potential to improve our students’ achievement and enrich the national conversation about education. These include research studies on using NAEP as an indicator of academic preparedness for college and job training, initiatives to engage parent leaders in efforts to improve student achievement and reduce achievement gaps, new computer-based assessments to measure the skills required for an innovation-driven society, and studies linking NAEP with international assessments to benchmark our students’ achievement with that of our global competitors.

What are the requirements of serving on the Board?
Governing Board members must attend quarterly Board meetings, each lasting one and a half days. On average, members spend about 10–14 days per year on Board business, including Board meeting attendance, travel, teleconferences, electronic communication, and meeting preparation.

What are the benefits of serving on the Governing Board?
Governing Board members become influential leaders in education because of their role in overseeing The Nation’s Report Card—our country’s most valid and highly regarded measure of student academic achievement. Board members also lead outreach efforts, such as initiatives to engage parent leaders at the national, state, and urban district level to help improve student achievement and close achievement gaps. Board members work with many of the brightest and most influential people in education, government, and business in the United States and around the world who are concerned about improving education.

What types of people serve on the Governing Board?
The Governing Board’s 26 members include governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, a local school superintendent, local and state school board members, principals, classroom teachers, curriculum and testing experts, a business representative, a representative of non-public schools, and members of the general public, including parents. By law, the Board’s composition must reflect diversity in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic region of the country. The Board’s current membership is listed at

The 2012-2013 Nominations Process


Why is the Governing Board seeking nominations for members?
Each year the Board conducts a broad-based national search for five to seven new members to replace Board members whose terms are expiring. Board members may serve up to two four-year terms, and are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education from nominees gathered through a comprehensive outreach effort.

For which categories is the Board seeking nominations during the 2012–2013 nominations process?
The Board is seeking nominations in 2013 for five positions, in four categories:

  • Elementary school principal
  • Testing and measurement expert
  • Democratic state legislator*
  • General public representative (2 positions)**

*   The Board also has a Republican state legislator among its members.
**  By law, general public representatives cannot be employed by a local, state, or federal educational agency.

When is the deadline for submitting nominations for 2013?
The deadline is October 12, 2012. Nominations submitted by email can be sent to Nominations submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than October 12 and can be sent to:

Dr. Mary Crovo    
Deputy Executive Director
National Assessment Governing Board
800 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 825
Washington, DC 20002-4233

What if I have additional questions about the nominations process?
Please contact Dr. Mary Crovo, Deputy Executive Director, via email at or by phone at 202-357-6941.

Submitting a Nomination

What information is required to submit a nomination?
Two pieces of information are required for each nominee:

  1. Nominating letter: This letter should state the category for which the individual is being nominated, and describe the candidate’s qualifications as they relate to the Board’s policy responsibilities for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. It can be a self-nomination letter, or a nomination by someone else.
  2. Full resume or curriculum vitae (c.v.): A full resume or vitae is necessary to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications. Please note that a short biographical sketch is not sufficient for this purpose. The resume or c.v. must include the nominee’s email address and daytime phone number.

Optional: Each nominee may submit a brief statement (250 words or less) explaining his or her interest in serving on the Board. This optional statement should be sent with the required information listed in 1 and 2 above.

How do I submit a nomination?
Nominations may be submitted in the following ways. (The Board does not accept faxed nominations.)

  1. Via email to
    If the nomination is sent via email the Board does not require a hard copy.
  2. Via mail addressed to:
    Dr. Mary Crovo    
    Deputy Executive Director
    National Assessment Governing Board
    800 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 825
    Washington, DC 20002-4233
  3. Delivered in person to the Board office at the above address.

Is there an online form to use in submitting a nomination?
No. Please see details about the nominations process under Submitting a Nomination.

May individuals nominate themselves?
Yes. The process for nominating others is the same as for self-nominations.

May I submit more than one nomination?
Yes, you may submit nominations in one or more open categories. The Board accepts individual nominating letters, or one letter for multiple nominees that clearly states the category for which each person is being nominated. All other requirements are the same as defined above.

Must an individual currently be serving in the position that fits the category for which he or she is nominated?
With the exception of governors, all nominees must be serving in a position in the category for which they are nominated. For example, a local school board member must be serving on that board at the time of nomination, as well as at the time of appointment to the Governing Board. If, before appointment, a nominee changes positions and is no longer in the category for which he or she is nominated (e.g., a local board of education member leaves the school board), the nomination will be withdrawn from consideration. In the case of the governor position, this category may be filled by either a current or former governor.

May I submit a nomination for any Board member category?
No. Nominations will be accepted only for the five categories open for 2013:

  • Elementary school principal
  • Testing and measurement expert
  • Democratic state legislator
  • General public representative (2 positions)

Selection Process and Timeline

What happens after I submit a nomination?
Both the nominee and the nominator are notified when the nomination has been received. If any information is incomplete, the nominator will be asked to submit the missing information.
The entire nominating process takes about a year, as noted in the following timeline:

Nominations Process Timeline
Timeframe Task
October 12, 2012 Deadline for submitting nominations
Fall 2012/Early 2013  
Board’s Nominations Committee reviews nominations
March 2013
Board takes action on a slate of finalists in each open category
April 2013 Information on finalists is presented to the Secretary
of Education
Spring/Summer 2013 Secretary and his or her staff review finalists
Late Summer/Fall 2013
Secretary announces Board appointments
October 1, 2013 Board member terms begin

When will nominees for 2013 learn whether they are finalists?
Following the Board’s action in March 2013, all nominees will receive a letter informing them whether or not they have been selected by the Board as finalists. Note that a nominee who was not selected as a finalist may be moved into the finalist category if a finalist withdraws his or her name from consideration (e.g., due to a change in position). In that case, the new finalist will receive notice as to the change in his or her status.

How does the Board evaluate nominees?
Each nominee is evaluated independently by three members of the Board’s Nominations Committee. Committee members carefully review each nominee’s qualifications for the category in which he or she is nominated, including experience and educational background, as well as other factors that relate to the Board’s oversight and policy-setting role for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

How are Board members chosen?
Members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education from finalists submitted by the Board. In seeking nominees, the Board conducts a broad-based national search. The Board’s Nominations Committee carefully reviews each candidate and presents a slate of six finalists in each open category to the full Board for action. Following Board action, the slates of finalists are forwarded to the Secretary of Education for his or her decision.

About the Governing Board

Board Roles and Functions

How are the Board’s responsibilities determined?
Congress has assigned the Board specific policy-setting responsibilities for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, as outlined in P.L. 107-279. In overseeing The Nation's Report Card, the Governing Board establishes the NAEP assessment schedule, identifies subjects in which students will be tested, determines the content and achievement levels for each assessment, approves all test questions, and works to improve the reporting of results. The Governing Board also works to inform the public about The Nation's Report Card by communicating its results to a wide range of audiences, including elected officials, educators, parents, business leaders, and the media.

How does the Board conduct its business?
The Board carries out its responsibilities through standing committees. Policy matters and related issues are presented and typically discussed by a committee at least one meeting in advance of the full Board taking action at a subsequent meeting.

What are the primary responsibilities of the Board’s standing committees?
The Board conducts its work through five standing committees.

  • Assessment Development Committee (ADC) oversees development of NAEP frameworks, which define the content and design of the assessments. The ADC also reviews all NAEP test questions.
  • Committee on Standards, Design, and Methodology (COSDAM) is responsible for all NAEP technical matters such as achievement level setting and sampling issues.
  • Reporting and Dissemination Committee (R&D) has responsibility for all matters relating to NAEP reporting, including the initial release of NAEP results.
  • Nominations Committee is responsible for soliciting and reviewing nominations for Board membership.
  • Executive Committee consists of the Board chair and vice chair, as well as the chair and vice chair of each standing committee. This committee addresses various Board-level issues such as the budget and NAEP schedule of assessments.

The Board also appoints ad hoc committees for specific purposes, as needed. For example, a new ad hoc Committee on Parent Engagement was created to make recommendations on how the Board can increase its outreach to inform parent leaders and parent groups about NAEP.

Do all Board members serve on a committee?
Members are assigned to a standing committee by the Board chair, based on the member’s area of interest and expertise. The chair and vice chair of the various committees serve on the Executive Committee. A member may also be assigned to the Board’s Nominations Committee. As the need arises members may also volunteer to serve on ad hoc committees.

How is the Board supported by staff?
The Board staff consists of 12 members including the executive director, deputy executive director, as well as program staff with expertise in assessment development, psychometrics, policy, research, reporting, and communications. Additional staff members are responsible for contracts, budget and finance, meeting planning, and administrative duties.

Term of Service on the Board

What is the length of each term for Board members?
Board members serve four-year terms. A member may be appointed to a second four-year term. The legislative limit on Board service is two four-year terms.

When will the 2013 Board member term begin and end?
The 2013 Board terms will begin on October 1, 2013 and end on September 30, 2017.

If a Board member changes jobs during his or her term, must the member resign from the Board?
No, the member is permitted to serve the remainder of his or her term. For example, if a classroom teacher takes a position as a principal during his or her Board term, the member may continue to serve the remainder of the term in the “classroom teacher” category, but is not eligible for reappointment in that category.

Are Board member terms staggered?
Yes, approximately five to seven Board member terms expire each year, to ensure continuity and a reasonable turnover in membership each year.

Board Service, Meetings, and Compensation

Are Board members required to follow federal laws and regulations?
Board members are required to adhere to applicable federal laws and regulations and must take the federal Oath of Office. Prior to being appointed, members are required to complete a financial disclosure form that is reviewed by the Department of Education’s Office of General Counsel to ensure that conflicts of interest do not exist. In addition, there are some restrictions regarding compensation from foreign countries.

What is the annual time commitment for Board members?
Governing Board members must attend quarterly Board meetings, each lasting one and a half days. On average, members spend about 10–14 days per year on Board business, including Board meeting attendance, travel, teleconferences, electronic communication, and meeting preparation.

How often does the Board meet?
The full Board meets four times per year. Meeting dates are scheduled in advance and are posted on the Board’s website. Committees of the Board may meet at other times, usually via teleconference.

What is the expectation for Board meeting attendance?
All members are expected to attend each quarterly Board meeting, as the schedule of meetings is posted several years in advance. If a member misses three consecutive Board meetings, the member may be dismissed from the Board. Board meetings usually have an attendance rate of greater than 90 percent.

On which days does the Board meet?
The Board’s plenary session begins on Friday morning and concludes by noon on Saturday. Several Board committees may meet on Thursday and the Executive Committee convenes late Thursday afternoon. Frequently the Board holds an outreach event on Wednesday evening with local policymakers, educators, or other groups. This outreach event is optional for Board members.

If a member cannot attend a Board meeting, may the member send a representative?
According to the Board’s bylaws, only the two state governors on the Board may send a representative, who is non-voting but may represent the views of the state governor. Other Board members are not allowed to send a representative to Board meetings.

What compensation do Governing Board members receive?
Board members receive an honorarium of $100 per day while working on Board matters as well as reimbursement for travel expenses. Members are paid on a quarterly basis.

Does the Board pay travel and lodging expenses for members to attend Board meetings?
Yes, a member’s travel to Board meetings is paid in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations. Board staff make all travel arrangements, in consultation with Board members. Transportation and lodging are prepaid by the Board to minimize out-of-pocket expenses by members. Board members may make their own travel arrangements, but are reimbursed only up to the amount allowed under government regulations.

What briefing materials are provided for Board meetings?
Members receive comprehensive briefing materials a week prior to each quarterly Board meeting. Materials are provided for each standing committee and for plenary sessions of the Board. Board briefing materials are available electronically.

Is additional guidance provided to new members to help them perform their duties?
Following appointment, the entire “class” of new members is provided with an orientation session to familiarize them with their responsibilities. This one-day meeting is held in Washington, D.C., approximately one month prior to the members’ first Board meeting. New members are contacted soon after the Secretary announces their appointment to schedule the orientation meeting.

Where can I find more information about the Board and NAEP?
The Board’s website,, provides detailed information on our work. Information about NAEP may be found at and at

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