WASHINGTON—Idaho State Superintendent Tom Luna has been appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board to serve until September 2014, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today. The state chief will help set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation's Report Card.
Luna, a longtime education and business leader whose work has encompassed a variety of areas including accountability, achievement standards and school choice, will serve on its reporting and dissemination committee. His term officially started Feb. 16 and will end on Sept. 30, 2014.
"We are looking forward to Superintendent Tom Luna's contributions," Secretary Duncan said. "I know that his commitment to improving education for our children will help us as we work toward ensuring that all students are meeting grade-level standards and are ready for postsecondary education or careers. He'll make a great addition to the team."
In overseeing The Nation's Report Card, the 26-member Governing Board—a group of governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators and researchers, business representatives, and members of the general public—determines subjects and content to be tested and the achievement levels for reporting scores, and works to inform the public about the results. NAEP makes objective information on student performance available to policy-makers and the public at the national, state, and local levels, and has served an important role in evaluating the condition and progress of American education since 1969.
Before becoming Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2007, Luna had a career in business for more than 25 years and served in education leadership positions at the local, state and national levels, including as a local school board chair. He was appointed under former Governor Phil Batt to lead the Idaho Achievement Standards Commission, and under former Governor Dirk Kempthorne to chair the Idaho Assessment and Accountability Commission. The work of these two commissions resulted in the state's Achievement Standards and Idaho Standards Achievement Test.
"For many years, Tom has demonstrated a dedication to improving the quality of education for students, while being forward-thinking in pursuing initiatives to adapt to quickly changing times and needs," said Governing Board Chair David Driscoll.
While in office, Luna has focused his efforts on more than a dozen areas that include parental involvement, teacher performance and evaluation, school nutrition, and academic standards. When Luna first took office in 2007, just 26 percent of Idaho schools met the academic goals the state set, known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2010, 62 percent of schools met AYP.
Some of Luna's initiatives include creating the Division of Innovation and Choice to expand choices in public education through public charter schools, magnet schools, open enrollment, virtual education, and dual credit; and the Middle Level Credit System, which fosters more accountability in the middle grades and works to ensure Idaho students are prepared to go on to high school and beyond.
Other efforts include the Classroom Enhancement Package, which provides additional funding for textbooks, remediation programs, and a supplies and materials stipend for every classroom teacher; the Rural Education Initiative to find solutions to the unique problems facing rural schools; and the Idaho Math Initiative that seeks to raise student achievement in math education across all grades through a combined with teachers, parents, the business community.
From 2003 to 2005, Luna traveled the country on behalf of then-President Bush and Secretary of Education Rod Paige, serving as a senior advisor and focusing on rural education and school choice. He was elected state superintendent in November 2006, and was re-elected to a second term four years later.
Luna currently serves as president-elect of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a nationwide organization that brings together the top education leaders from every state. He will serve as the group's president beginning in 2012.
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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 Nation's Report Card is the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States and has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), The Nation's Report Card informs the public about what America's students know and can do in various subject areas, and compares achievement data between states and various student demographic groups.