STANFORD—President George W. Bush today nominated Williamson M. “Bill” Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of its Koret Task Force on K – 12 Education, to be U. S. assistant secretary of education for planning, evaluation and policy development.
“Bill Evers is one of the most knowledgeable experts on K – 12 education in the United States," said Hoover director John Raisian. "His expertise and perspective should prove to be invaluable to Secretary Spellings and the Bush Administration. We are proud that Hoover will have a representative serving directly in this important capacity.”
Diane Ravitch, assistant secretary for educational research and improvement under President George H. W. Bush, a Hoover senior fellow and a research professor at New York University, described Evers as "well-informed," as well as "courageous." She said he will be "an important addition to the Department of Education."
Michael W. Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education during Governor Jerry Brown’s administration and emeritus professor at the Stanford School of Education, noted that Evers has “deep and broad” experience at the state and local level that “can help guide” reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. Kirst added that Evers’s scholarly work has had a “focus” on the necessity of improving curriculum and instruction “in classrooms across the nation.”
In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Evers to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which selects the nation's top high school seniors in academics and the arts. In addition, then secretary of education Rod Paige named Evers to the National Educational Research Policy and Priorities Board, on which he served until Congress reorganized educational research activities in late 2002. From July to December 2003, he served in Iraq as senior adviser for education to Administrator L. Paul Bremer of the Coalition Provisional Authority. During 2005 – 6, Evers also served on the Mathematics and Science Scientific Review Panel of the U. S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.
In addition to his work at the federal level, Evers has served as a member of panels that review the test questions in history and in mathematics for California’s statewide testing system. He also served on the state panel that reviewed the history textbooks under consideration for adoption for California schools, as well as on the panels that proposed grading guidelines for California’s and Texas's history standards tests. Evers served on California State Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards from 1996 to 1998, throughout the life of the commission. Evers has also been a member of the policy board of the California History–Social Science Project.
Evers served on the Santa Clara County Board of Education from his election in November 2004 until his nomination. He is the immediate past president of the board of directors of the East Palo Alto Charter School, a board on which he had served from 1997 until 2004.
Among his recent publications are the chapter on high-spending, low-performing school districts in Courting Failure (2006); the mathematics chapters in Reforming Education in Florida (2006) and in Reforming Education in Arkansas (2005); the chapter on fixing failing schools in Within Our Reach: How America Can Educate Every Child (2005); Testing Student Learning, Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness (coeditor, 2004); the chapter on curriculum in Our Schools and Our Future (2003); Teacher Quality (coeditor, 2002); School Accountability (coeditor and cocontributor, 2002); School Reform: The Critical Issues (coeditor, 2001); the chapter on standards and accountability in A Primer on America's Schools (2001); and What's Gone Wrong in America's Classrooms (editor and contributor, 1998). He has been member of the editorial board of Education Next (formerly Education Matters). He also has written numerous opinion columns that have appeared in magazines and newspapers. For selections from Evers’s writings see /sites/default/files/uploads/inline/docs/Evers_selected_writings.pdf.
Evers, an education policy adviser and a leader of education community supporters during President George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, served as a member of the education advisory committee for the 2001 transition. He was also a leader of education community supporters during California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2005 reform initiatives campaign and during his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, as well as being part of the statewide overall leadership teams in both campaigns.
Chester E. Finn Jr., who was a Ronald Reagan administration assistant secretary for educational research and improvement and is a Hoover senior fellow and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, said that federal education policy “will surely benefit from the experience, sagacity and passion that Bill Evers brings to everything he does."
While Evers is in Washington, D. C., serving in the U. S. Department of Education, he will be on leave from the Hoover Institution.