U.S. Education Secretary Appoints Starkville Principal To Board Overseeing The Nation’s Report Card

Darien Spann appointed to National Assessment Governing Board

Starkville High School Principal Darien Spann appointed to National Assessment Governing Board

United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has appointed Starkville High School Principal Darein Spann to serve on the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the country’s only ongoing, nationally representative assessment of student achievement. 

The Governing Board is a nonpartisan body established by Congress in 1988 to oversee and set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. NAEP provides objective information on student performance in various subjects and reports on student achievement across the nation, in states, and in select large urban districts.

The 26-member Governing Board is responsible for deciding which subjects NAEP assesses, determining assessment content, setting achievement levels that describe student performance, and pursuing new ways to make NAEP results useful and meaningful to the public.  

Spann serves as the principal of Starkville High School in Starkville, Mississippi. He previously taught high school English and has served on the board of the National Education Association and several state panels that oversee teaching and learning in Mississippi. Spann was named the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Administrator of the Year in 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome Darein to the Governing Board,” said Lesley Muldoon, the executive director of the Governing Board. “His strong desire to serve students has fueled his exemplary leadership, which he has leant to state and national efforts to improve education in such areas as professional development for teachers and administrators and career training and preparation. His insights will be instrumental in ensuring the Nation’s Report Card provides relevant, actionable information for policymakers, education leaders, and the public. Never before has this been more important, as our nation recovers from the COVID pandemic.”

Spann is serving in the Governing Board’s secondary school principal position. He is joined by ten other appointees, whose terms officially began on Oct. 1, 2023. 




The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, nonpartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. For more information about the Governing Board, visit www.nagb.gov.