There is established the National Assessment Governing Board (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the “Assessment Board”), which shall formulate policy guidelines for the National Assessment (carried out under section 9622 of this title).
The Director of the Institute of Education Sciences shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Assessment Board.
The Secretary and the Assessment Board shall ensure at all times that the membership of the Assessment Board reflects regional, racial, gender, and cultural balance and diversity and that the Assessment Board exercises its independent judgment, free from inappropriate influences and special interests.
Terms of service of members of the Assessment Board shall be staggered and may not exceed a period of 4 years, as determined by the Secretary.
A member of the Assessment Board who changes status under subsection (b) during the term of the appointment of the member may continue to serve as a member until the expiration of such term.
The Secretary shall appoint new members to fill vacancies on the Assessment Board from among individuals who are nominated by organizations representing the type of individuals described in subsection (b)(1) with respect to which the vacancy exists.
Each organization submitting nominations to the Secretary with respect to a particular vacancy shall nominate for such vacancy six individuals who are qualified by experience or training to fill the particular Assessment Board vacancy.
The Assessment Board may delegate any of the Board’s procedural and administrative functions to its staff.
The Assessment Board shall have final authority on the appropriateness of all assessment items.
The Assessment Board shall take steps to ensure that all items selected for use in the National Assessment are free from racial, cultural, gender, or regional bias and are secular, neutral, and non-ideological.
In carrying out the duties required by paragraph (1), the Assessment Board may seek technical advice, as appropriate, from the Commissioner for Education Statistics and other experts.
Not later than 90 days after an evaluation of the student achievement levels under section 9622(e) of this title, the Assessment Board shall make a report to the Secretary, the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate describing the steps the Assessment Board is taking to respond to each of the recommendations contained in such evaluation.
In the exercise of its responsibilities, the Assessment Board shall be independent of the Secretary and the other offices and officers of the Department.
The Secretary may appoint, at the request of the Assessment Board, such staff as will enable the Assessment Board to carry out its responsibilities.
Such appointments may include, for terms not to exceed 3 years and without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, not more than six technical employees who may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.