U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has appointed Haley Barbour to the National Assessment Governing Board.

The former Mississippi Governor joins an engineering curriculum specialist and a twelfth-grade U.S. government and politics teacher as appointees to four-year terms on the Governing Board.

The National Assessment Governing Board oversees the only continuing, nationally representative evaluation of U.S. students’ knowledge.

Secretary DeVos named former Governor Barbour as chairman of the Board.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Governing Board is a nonpartisan body that works independently from the Department of Education to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card.  NAEP provides objective information on student performance in various subjects and allows comparisons of student achievement among states, large urban districts, and various student groups.

The 26-member Governing Board is responsible for deciding which subjects NAEP assesses, determining the assessments’ content, setting achievement levels that describe student performance, and pursuing new ways to make NAEP results meaningful to the public.

“I am pleased to welcome these new members to the National Assessment Governing Board,” said Secretary DeVos in a release. “Their richly diverse backgrounds will help the Board as it continues its critical work to inform students, parents, educators and policymakers about the state of American education. The latest Nation’s Report Card shows a student achievement crisis, especially in reading, and I’m eager to see how the Board continues to tackle that critical challenge.”

As for Barbour, Secretary DeVos focused on his leadership in leading education reforms in the Magnolia State.

“I especially want to thank Governor Barbour for his willingness to serve as board chair,” DeVos said.  “His experience leading education reform in Mississippi, the fruit of which is seen in the latest Report Card, is one of many assets he will bring to the table.”

The Governing Board appointees announced today are the final three board members to be appointed for the 2019-2023 term. Their terms officially began on Oct. 1, 2019 and will end on Sept. 30, 2023.