SOURCE: EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE

Educational Testing Service

April 20, 2011 10:15 ET

Viator, Heffner to Lead ETS's Common Assessment Work

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - Apr 20, 2011) - Educational Testing Service (ETS) today announced the hiring of two outstanding assessment leaders to guide the company's work in supporting the consortia of states planning to develop common assessments.

Kit Viator will join ETS at the beginning of May and Stan Heffner will join the company at the beginning of August.

As senior executives with ETS's new K-12 Multistate Assessment Programs group, Viator and Heffner are eminently qualified to guide ETS's support of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), should ETS be fortunate enough to be awarded contracts by either consortium in a competitive procurement process.

The state-led initiative to adopt Common Core State Standards and develop aligned common assessments has created an unprecedented opportunity to develop a new generation of integrated systems of assessments and reporting tools that actively support improved teaching and learning to ensure that all students finish high school ready for college or a career.

John Oswald, Vice President for K-12 Assessment Solutions and Multistate Assessment Programs in ETS's Student and Teacher Assessment division, said, "Kit and Stan's combined experience and expertise will bring a strong state-centered perspective to our service to these consortia. As we prepare our offerings to help PARCC and SBAC to achieve their goals, and as we deliver any work we are awarded, both of these strong leaders will keep us focused on quality in service to our clients."

Most recently, Viator has been a Senior Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before joining the foundation, she was part of the leadership team at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that designed and implemented the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), and was the director of student assessment for Massachusetts for over a decade. Prior to that, she worked as a researcher at the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy (CSTEEP) at Boston College, where she worked on a national assessment reform initiative focusing on urban schools in the United States. She has served on the Council of Chief State School Officers' Education Information Advisory Committee's Permanent Standing Task Force on Assessment, the National Assessment Governing Board's Accommodations Policy Advisory Committee, and Governor Phil Bredesen's (TN) Assessment Advisory Group. She holds an Ed.M. in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Heffner currently is the interim Superintendent of Public Instruction for Ohio. In his previous role as the Ohio Department of Education's associate superintendent for the Center for Curriculum and Assessment, he was prominent in national efforts to create model curricula aligned to the national Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. His leadership also has included development of common assessments aligned to these curricula. These assessments will be used to guide the redesign of Ohio's accountability system. Heffner has overseen the state's academic content standards and ensured that the state's assessment programs are aligned to those standards, as well as provided oversight for the state's career-technical education policy and implementation. He also was responsible for the state's accountability system, which develops and issues annual report cards on the performance of Ohio public school districts. His recent work included an international benchmarking project to guide revision of the state's content standards. Previously, he was a teacher in South Dakota and became the state's youngest high school principal. He later served as South Dakota's deputy secretary of education and cultural affairs. In Ohio, he served as superintendent of Madison Local Schools. Heffner received his master's degree in school administration and his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Northern State University in South Dakota.

About ETS
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

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