Surprisingly, Viola Garcia’s appointment follows the NSBA’s letter asking the White House to apply laws intended for fighting terrorism against concerned parents.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona selected Garcia to sit on the National Assessment Governing Board. The board develops national tests to assess student performance.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Garcia’s position on the board could raise questions about whether the appointment was linked to her advocacy work at the National School Board Association. Emails reported by the Washington Free Beacon show Garcia coordinated with the Biden White House and Department of Education in the weeks before releasing the controversial letter. “These are troubling times. NSBA has been engaged with the White House and the Department of Education on these and other issues related to the pandemic for several weeks now,” Garcia wrote in an Oct. 2 email obtained by the group Parents Defending Education.
Garcia first attracted widespread attention on Sept. 29 when she signed a letter asking for assistance from federal law enforcement agencies to intervene against “acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials.”
The National School Board Association apologized for the letter on Friday, saying there was “no justification” for the language comparing parents to terrorists. Other emails showed that some National School Board Association directors were upset with Garcia for issuing the letter without the board’s input. One director said that the letter’s reference to parents as domestic terrorists inflamed tensions at local school board meetings.
Yet on Oct. 4, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo directing the FBI to “discuss strategies” with U.S. Attorneys in all 94 districts and local law enforcement within 30 days to “address this disturbing trend.”
Garcia’s tenure on the governing board began on Oct. 1, according to a Department of Education press release.
Congress established the National Assessment Governing Board in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the so-called Nation’s Report Card. Part of the board’s mission is to draft the questions used on the assessment and to use the results of the test to propose policies to the Department of Education.