DeVos appoints Tennessee lawmaker to board overseeing the Nation’s Report Card

Rep. Mark White shepherded Gov. Bill Lee's charter school bill through the House Education Committee on Wednesday. The Memphis Republican also chairs the panel.
State Rep. Mark White has been appointed to the board that sets policy for the Nation’s Report Card.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has appointed Tennessee legislative leader Mark White to the board that helps set policy for the tests known as the Nation’s Report Card.

White, a Memphis Republican who has served in the Tennessee General Assembly since 2010, will hold a four-year term on the 26-member governing board that oversees the assessment of thousands of students nationwide. 

Known formally as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP has played an important role in evaluating the condition and progress of American education since 1969. The board determines subjects and content to be tested, sets achievement levels for reporting, and releases the results to the public.

In a split decision in August, the board decided that the congressionally mandated tests should proceed in spring 2021, even though members acknowledged that the data might not be accurate or even useful since many students might not be back in school buildings because of the coronavirus.

States are required to participate in order to receive federal Title I funds for schools serving low-income students.  

A decade ago, Tennessee students scored near the bottom of states in reading and math proficiency. Since 2011, however, the state’s national rankings have steadily increased.

As chairman of the legislature’s House Education Committee, White has been a strong advocate for state testing and using the results to hold students, teachers, schools, and districts accountable. He is currently running for reelection.

White is a former teacher, principal, and small-business owner and co-founded the Global Children’s Educational Foundation to provide financial assistance and educational opportunities to impoverished children in Panama.

He is one of four appointments announced last week by DeVos.

The Latest

The ‘Youth Civic Hub,’ an online portal launched on Friday aims to increase youth civic engagement and electoral participation.

The board on Tuesday signaled to lawmakers that they want new laws to reform the state’s charter school system.

El distrito y la high school enfrentan una nueva audiencia con la Junta de Educación Estatal en mayo.

Un grupo influyente conservador ha elaborado una estrategia para desafiar una decisión histórica del Tribunal Supremo que protege el derecho de los niños indocumentados a asistir a la escuela pública.

With federal pandemic aid for schools expiring, the schools say the additional operating funding would be crucial for students and staff.

“I work in school nutrition to feed kids, not trash cans,” a dietitian testified at a legislative hearing last week.