State’s testing chief to leave

The State Department of Education’s point person on the Common Core-aligned test rollout will leave the state at the end of the school year.

TJ Bliss
TJ Bliss

TJ Bliss, the department’s assessment and accountability director, is stepping down to take a job with the education division of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif..

Bliss, who joined the department in February 2013, represented Idaho in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the multistate group writing assessments aligned to the new Common Core standards. Idaho schools are field-testing the SBAC exam this spring, and will use the exam to measure student and school performance starting in 2014-15.

“I have been and remain committed to the implementation of a balanced assessment system in Idaho,” Bliss said Monday, in an email to district superintendents, charter school administrators and school testing coordinators. “I know that balanced assessment is critical for effective instruction and learning. It is the right thing to do for our teachers and for our students. The field test is going extremely well and I am confident the operational administration next spring will provide you, your teachers, and your students will useful information about how well students are meeting our new core standards.”

Angela Hemingway, the state’s assessment and accountability coordinator, will be promoted to the director’s post, Bliss said Monday.

To read more about Bliss — and Idaho’s role in the SBAC process — click to this August Idaho Education News article.

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