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Smarter Balanced Leader to Step Down

Joe WillhoftSmarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s executive director Joe Willhoft (pictured) will step down at the end of December. Willhoft, who has led the consortium since 2010, will become a senior technical and strategic advisor and serve on the Technical Advisory Committee. Before joining Smarter Balanced, Willhoft was assistant superintendent for assessment and student information for Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. His more than 45-year education career includes teaching at all levels and 30 years of assessment development and oversight.

Chief operating officer Tony Alpert will take over as executive director effective January 1, 2015. Alpert has served as COO of Smarter Balanced since 2011, overseeing the fiscal operations of the consortium and providing guidance on assessment design and technology.

Willhoft said, “As Smarter Balanced moves from development to implementation, now is the right time to make sure there is a strong leadership team in place to steer the consortium in the years ahead.”

On October 1, Smarter Balanced became an independent operating unit of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. To date, 12 members have signed agreements with UCLA: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to the consortium, an additional six states that plan to administer Smarter Balanced assessments in 2014-2015 will complete agreements in the coming weeks.

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.

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