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The Governing Board CCSSO Policy Task Force

As part of the Board's effort to expand involvement and input from state education leaders, the Governing Board partnered with Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to create a Task Force in September 2007. This Board-funded Task Force is charged with providing state feedback and recommendations to the National Assessment Governing Board on policy areas and projects related to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The Task Force is comprised of 12 high-level state education agency staff members including one chief state school officer, eight members who are either deputy or assistant superintendents, and three public information officers. This wide cross section of perspectives vested in education has shaped careful and extensive deliberations on many NAEP policy areas.

Task Force members are chosen based on expertise and interest in assessment and geographic representation of the nation.

Task Force Members (2014-2015)

David V. Abbott
Deputy Commissioner/General Counsel
Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Providence, RI

Kim Benton
Chief Academic Officer, Deputy State Superintendent
Mississippi Department of Education
Jackson, MS

Brenda Cassellius
Minnesota Department of Education
Roseville, MN

Liza Cordeiro
Executive Director, Office of Communications
West Virginia Department of Education
Charleston, WV

Bari Erlichson
Assistant Commissioner of Data, Research, Evaluation and Reporting
New Jersey Department of Education
Trenton, NJ

Kelli Gauthier
Director of Communications
Tennessee Department of Education
Nashville, TN

Shelley Loving-Ryder
Assistant Superintendent, Student Assessment and School Improvement
Virginia Department of Education
Richmond, VA

Michael Muenks
Coordinator of Assessment, Office of College and Career Readiness
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jefferson City, MO

Nate Olson
Communications Manager
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Olympia, WA

Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds
Chief Deputy Commissioner
Texas Education Agency
Austin, TX

Scott Smith
Director of Career Standards and Assessments
Kansas State Department of Education
Topeka, KS

Joyce Zurkowski
Director of Student Assessment
Colorado Department of Education
Denver, CO

Interim Co-Chairs

Cornelia Orr
Executive Director
National Assessment Governing Board

Scott Norton
Strategic Initiative Director
Council of Chief State School Officers

History of Partnership with CCSSO

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Assessment Governing Board have a long history of working collaboratively on a number of projects including development of NAEP frameworks and providing feedback on various NAEP policy issues. In addition, a number of chief state school officers and state testing directors have served as members of the Governing Board over the years.

CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states and several jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. For more information, visit

Policy Topics Addressed to Date

Topics have been discussed in depth on an iterative basis. Several of these topics will continue to be addressed in 2014-2015. Additional topics are also raised based on new issues.

Discussion Topics:

  1. NAEP Reporting Process
  2. NAEP Inclusion and Accommodations
  3. NAEP Schedule of Assessments
  4. Grade 12 NAEP
  5. NAEP Reading Trend Line
  6. NAEP Contextual Questions
  7. Common Core State Standards and Assessments
  8. Misuse and Misinterpretation of NAEP Data
  9. International Benchmarking
  10. Board Initiatives on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps
  11. Future of NAEP Initiatives
  12. Assessment Literacy Initiative

The Task Force and the Board

The Governing Board's Executive Committee receives an update on the Task Force's work. In addition, presentations to the full Board by Task Force members occur periodically.

The Task Force and Outreach

Task Force members also seek additional input by sharing Task Force recommendations and gathering feedback from their peer groups. For example, members have made presentations to state testing directors and chief state school officers representing states across the nation.

The Task Force provides an important vehicle for state perspectives to be incorporated into Governing Board policy deliberations and projects.