Alumni News

Zollie Stevenson Jr. (Ph.D. ’84) receives national award for contribution to educational assessment

Photo of Zollie Stevenson Jr.

Zollie Stevenson Jr.

Zollie Stevenson Jr., director of Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) programs for the U.S. Department of Education, is the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Educational Assessment award given by the National Association of Test Directors (NATD). He will receive the award at NATD’s annual meeting in Denver this Sunday, May 2.

The association consists of assessment professionals from the nation’s largest school districts. They meet annually to share the latest developments in assessment practice and psychometrics.

“I am privileged to have Dr. Stevenson on my team,” said Thelma Melendez, assistant secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education that houses SASA programs. “His breadth of knowledge about the Title I program and commitment to education reform for all students, including some of the nation’s poorest and most under served, has been a tremendous asset to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the nation.”

In his role as SASA director, Stevenson oversees 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.

He also oversees 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 becoming SASA director, Stevenson served as deputy director of SASA programs. Before joining the U.S. Department of Education, he was the director of Research, Assessment and Evaluation in the Baltimore City (Md.) Public Schools, research director for the Charlotte/Mecklenburg (N.C.) and District of Columbia public school systems, as well as an evaluation research officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a regional research and testing coordinator for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

A native of Greensboro, N.C., Stevenson also has served as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, East Carolina University, the George Washington University, the University of Maryland and Bowie State University.