Alumni News

Zollie Stevenson, Jr. (Ph.D. '84) assumes new role at U.S. Department of Education

Zollie Stevenson, a 1984 graduate from the School of Education’s Ph.D. program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently was named the director of Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) programs for the U.S. Department of Education. 

As part of his new role, Stevenson will oversee the operation of the Title I program, the largest federal assistance program for elementary and secondary education in the country.  Under Title I, more than $14 billion is awarded annually through formula and discretionary grants to raise the academic performance of under-performing students from low-income families.

Regarding Stevenson’s appointment, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, “Zollie has a proven track record of helping to raise student achievement.  His breadth of knowledge about the Title I program and school reform will ensure that every child, including those from low-income families, receives the high-quality education he or she deserves.”

In addition to his role as Title I director, Stevenson will supervise the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program, the Even Start Family Literacy Programs, the Early Reading First Program, the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program, Enhanced Assessment Grants and Programs for Children and Youth Who are Neglected and Delinquent, or At-Risk.

Prior to his appointment as acting director, Stevenson served most recently as deputy director of SASA programs.  Before joining the U.S. Department of Education, he was the director of Research, Assessment and Evaluation in Baltimore City Public Schools in Maryland and research director for the District of Columbia and Charlotte/Mecklenburg public school systems. Stevenson also served as an evaluation research officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a regional research and testing coordinator for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  He also has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, East Carolina University, George Washington University, the University of Maryland and Bowie State University.

Stevenson, a native of Greensboro, N.C., earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University before receiving his doctoral degree at the School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Stevenson was the recipient of the UNC School of Education’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2003.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.