Federal Federal File

New Chief Brings State Lessons To Title I Office

By David J. Hoff — April 07, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Back in 1984, Zollie Stevenson Jr. was on the front lines in a state that was experimenting with setting academic standards and creating tests aligned with them.

Fresh off earning his doctorate in educational psychology, Mr. Stevenson worked as a regional coordinator for research and testing at the North Carolina education department. He helped 17 school districts implement the state’s new assessment system—one of the first in the nation to measure students against a standard rather than a national norm.

Now, Mr. Stevenson is at the center of the action for all 50 states. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings recently promoted him to director of the office that runs the federal Title I program.

See Also

For more stories on this topic see our Federal news page.

One of his main tasks is to oversee states’ development of tests and accountability systems under the 6-year-old No Child Left Behind Act—a law that put into practice some of the ideas that North Carolina helped pioneer in the 1980s.

In his new position, Mr. Stevenson, 55, has one of the most important Education Department jobs not filled by political appointment.

“Accountability is up there as number one as what our work will be,” said Mr. Stevenson, who has worked at the U.S. Department of Education in various jobs since 2000, most recently as the deputy director of the Title I office.

“It’s time to take a critical look at the processes we’ve been using” to evaluate states’ work in carrying out the provisions of the NCLB law, he added.

His office administers programs with a total annual budget of more than $14 billion, the largest chunk of which is in the Title I program for disadvantaged students.

Title I has been the centerpiece of federal K-12 policy since the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965.

However the currently stalled reauthorization of the NCLB law by Congress turns out, Mr. Stevenson expects to be at the center of the debate he’s been immersed in for 20-plus years.

“Clearly, accountability is going to be part of the future,” Mr. Stevenson said. “The question is how much change is going to be made.”

A version of this article appeared in the April 09, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Electric School Buses Get a Boost From New State and Federal Policies
New federal standards for emissions could accelerate the push to produce buses that run on clean energy.
3 min read
Stockton Unified School District's new electric bus fleet reduces over 120,000 pounds of carbon emissions and leverages The Mobility House's smart charging and energy management system.
A new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency sets higher fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles. By 2032, it projects, 40 percent of new medium heavy-duty vehicles, including school buses, will be electric.
Business Wire via AP
Federal What Would Happen to K-12 in a 2nd Trump Term? A Detailed Policy Agenda Offers Clues
A conservative policy agenda could offer the clearest view yet of K-12 education in a second Trump term.
8 min read
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome Ga.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome, Ga. Allies of the former president have assembled a detailed policy agenda for every corner of the federal government with the idea that it would be ready for a conservative president to use at the start of a new term next year.
Mike Stewart/AP
Federal Opinion Student Literacy Rates Are Concerning. How Can We Turn This Around?
The ranking Republican senator on the education committee wants to hear from educators and families about making improvements.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Biden Calls for Teacher Pay Raises, Expanded Pre-K in State of the Union
President Joe Biden highlighted a number of his education priorities in a high-stakes speech as he seeks a second term.
5 min read
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol on March 7, 2024, in Washington.
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol on March 7, 2024, in Washington.
Shawn Thew/Pool via AP