Home > Uncategorized > SDE Names New Assistant Superintendent for Assessments

SDE Names New Assistant Superintendent for Assessments

March 18, 2014

Today, the Oklahoma State Department of Education announced a replacement for Dr. Maridyth McBee to run the testing office.

State Department of Education names

New assistant superintendent overseeing assessments

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 18, 2014) — The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) announced today that Lisa Chandler is the agency’s new assistant superintendent in charge of assessments.

Chandler is a longtime state-level education policy leader with experience in the public and private sectors. From 2003 to 2007, she served as director of student assessment for the Texas Education Agency where she helped oversee the implementation of a new assessment system.

At OSDE, Chandler will oversee the state’s assessment program; serve as a liaison between the department and its testing vendors; and oversee the process of selecting and administering state tests.

“Ms. Chandler has many years of experience in developing high-quality, statewide assessments,” said state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi. “Her leadership as the state assessment director in Texas has been evident in the strong legacy of quality assessments administered over the years there. We are thrilled she is joining our team as we continue to focus on providing the best for Oklahoma’s children.”

Chandler earned a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. After 20 years at the Texas Education Agency, she worked as a national measurement consultant for Pearson PLC.

“My career has been committed to making a positive contribution in promoting the academic achievement of all students,” Chandler said. “It’s an honor to be able to join the department and join the efforts to boost student achievement already underway there under Supt. Barresi.”

Chandler will begin her position at OSDE Monday, March 31.

Well, Lisa, welcome to Oklahoma! Since you’re not from around here, I thought I’d get to know you through the magic of web browsing. And since your résumé is posted online at Indeed.com, I think we can learn a lot.

Lisa Chandler

Austin, TX


• Comprehensive leadership in public policy and administration
• Expertise in large-scale assessment and accountability
• Proven ability to design and implement a diverse range of programs
• Extensive experience in project management and strategic planning
• Demonstrated success in operations management

Work Experience


Independent – Austin, TX

2010 to Present

• Earned master’s degree in public policy and administration, Northwestern University
• Substitute teach throughout the Austin Independent School District
• Provide expertise to nonprofit organizations in the areas of public policy and education
• Create evaluation designs to measure the effectiveness of instructional programs
• Develop communication strategies for nonprofit educational programs


Pearson – Iowa City, IA

2007 to 2010

• Acted as key advisor on large-scale assessment programs and accountability systems
• Secured more than $500 million in contracts with critical input on strategic planning and proposal development
• Evaluated national and international companies for business development and outsourcing opportunities
• Troubleshot critical and time-sensitive issues ensuring successful delivery of products and services to clients
• Monitored and analyzed state and federal legislation to shape policy and business agendas
• Synthesized and communicated complex assessment and accountability information to state and national clients


Texas Education Agency – Austin, TX

2003 to 2007

• Directed the design and development of assessments in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies
• Oversaw the analysis and reporting of assessment results for more than 4 million students in 1200 school districts
• Engineered the redesign of English language proficiency exams to include listening, speaking, and writing skills
• Drove the development and implementation of online initiatives for training educators and testing students
• Guided technical psychometric procedures and research to ensure valid, reliable, and legally defensible assessments
• Directed a staff of 100 full-time employees including hiring, allocating, and evaluating personnel
• Managed multiple contracts totaling approximately $100 million annually and monitored numerous vendors
• Directed legislative analysis and research and testified before legislative bodies and state boards


Texas Education Agency – Austin, TX

2001 to 2003

• Coordinated special projects and research related to school accountability, accreditation, and finance
• Analyzed student performance results and demographic data for accreditation hearings
• Evaluated improvement action plans for low-performing campuses and charter schools
• Coordinated a software development project to automate reporting of monitoring and accountability data
• Managed a pilot study on the accountability of alternative education programs for at-risk students
• Served on the Commission on Secondary and Middle Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


Texas Education Agency – Austin, TX

1998 to 2001

• Conducted policy and fiscal analysis for the areas of curriculum, assessment, textbooks, and educational technology
• Provided key policy input on a multitude of topics including graduation programs and curriculum frameworks
• Collaborated with multiple governmental agencies to conduct studies on high school reform and teacher shortages
• Coordinated grant programs and evaluated incoming proposals and applications
• Acted as liaison for governmental relations, conducted policy analysis, and tracked legislation
• Built program and administrative budgets for a department of 350 staff and created legislative appropriations requests


Texas Education Agency – Austin, TX

1993 to 1998

• Coordinated the management and administration of policy and business operations
• Developed requests for proposals and established evaluation criteria and review procedures
• Established performance goals and analyzed achievement outcomes for short-term and long-term strategic planning
• Negotiated contracts and monitored multiple vendors for contractual and budgetary compliance
• Facilitated regional meetings to gather input on the development and adoption of a new statewide curriculum
• Coordinated state participation in numerous national and international projects


M.A. in Public Policy and Administration


B.A. in Government, French

University of Texas at Austin – Austin, TX


Public policy, large-scale assessment, program implementation, analysis and evaluation, strategic planning, project management, governmental relations, research, operations management, proposal writing and contract management, business development, communication and facilitation

I guess I’m old fashioned. I like to see some public school experience in the people leading public education. That impresses me more than working for Pearson. Substitute teaching while earning a master’s degree doesn’t count. If it did, we could have Peggy Hill running asessment. She’s from Texas too!

I can only speak to what I see on paper, and what I see is someone with degrees from two elite universities, (although one of those was earned after Ms. Chandler had already worked for the Texas Education Agency for 14 years and Pearson for another three). I don’t see someone who has studied education, testing, measurement, child development, or school administration.

Certainly with this résumé she must be familiar with the processes and perception that come along with testing. She also has experience on the contract side. And since she lists at least six bullet points with every job she has held, I guess we should count ourselves fortunate.

I just have to wonder if maybe an Oklahoma applicant who had taught – maybe even led a school – and had studied something relevant to the position would have made a bigger splash.

  1. Shirley
    March 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Janet couldn’t find someone in Oklahoma? Guess Oklahomans are over-qualified to work for Janet!


  2. Kelli
    March 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Just being devil’s advocate…were there Oklahoma educator applicants? I don’t imagine many necessarily wanting that job…


    • March 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Excellent point. I guess it’s a good job to have for 9 months until the new State Superintendent takes over.


  3. March 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Amen. Odd that the Superindentist would fire Pearson as the state testing company and then hire a former employee.

    As far as Oklahoma candidates are concerned, I really would not expect that Dr. Janet is getting many resumes from within the state. That seems obvious.


  4. March 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Also interesting that she is from a state that did not adopt CCSS and the assessments that follow.


  5. March 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Hope she has an exit strategy…


  6. Rob miller
    March 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Congrats on passing 250K post views! It’s been a good year for blogging!


  1. June 5, 2014 at 7:33 am
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