New York, NY – The Trustees of the College Board today announced that David Coleman will become the organization’s ninth president and CEO. Coleman succeeds Governor Gaston Caperton who is stepping down after 13 years as president. The appointment is effective October 15 and Governor Caperton will serve as president until that time.
“We are proud to introduce David Coleman as the next president of the College Board,” said Paul W. Sechrist, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “David is one of the nation’s most dynamic and engaging leaders in education, and we are confident he has the energy and expertise to lead the College Board’s efforts to expand access and equity in education.”
Coleman, 42, was an architect of the Common Core State Standards which to date have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. He is a Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit organization devoted to the successful implementation of the Standards, where he leads the organization’s work with teachers and policymakers to achieve the promise of the Common Core to improve education.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead this great organization,” said Coleman. “We live in a time when the importance of postsecondary education and training has never been greater – both for individual success and for the strength of the nation. The College Board was founded with a deep commitment to equity and must play a critical role in helping all students achieve high academic standards to thrive intellectually and to compete in a global economy.”
With assistance from executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, the Board of Trustees’ Presidential Search Committee – chaired by Lester Monts, former Chair of the Board of Trustees and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan – conducted a comprehensive search for the next president, focusing on candidates with extensive backgrounds in education who shared the College Board’s commitment to educational equity. During the 12-month search process, the Committee interviewed educational leaders in policy, advocacy and K-12 and higher education administration, as well as select business leaders in the education sector. Coleman was approved by a vote of the full Board of Trustees on March 29.
“Finding a successor to build on Gaston’s extraordinary legacy was a tremendous responsibility. The Trustees conducted an exhaustive search and we are delighted that David has accepted the position,” said Sechrist. “The College Board has played an active role in the development of the Common Core, and we are confident the Standards will make a profound contribution to equity and excellence and serve to level the playing field for all students to have access to college and career readiness.”
Caperton was named president and CEO of the College Board in 1999. During his tenure the organization has grown from 3,664 member education institutions to more than 6,000; the number of students the College Board serves each year has increased from 3 million to 7 million; and the number of students succeeding in Advanced Placement has doubled.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have led this outstanding organization through a time of profound change,” said Governor Caperton. “David embodies the College Board’s guiding principles and shares our commitment to equity and excellence. I am confident that under his leadership, the College Board will continue to play an integral role in connecting students to college and career success for years to come.”
Coleman added, “Gaston Caperton’s leadership has built a platform with extraordinary potential to help many more students from diverse backgrounds achieve college and career readiness. The College Board is not just about measuring academic excellence, but providing all students with equal access to the tools and resources – including rigorous coursework – they need to achieve academic excellence.”
Education leaders comment on the selection of David Coleman as president of the College Board:
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education: “I am delighted by this bold appointment on the part of the College Board. David brings a remarkable track record of success in our field, including founding an innovative company and playing a central role in the states’ wildly successful effort to develop high shared standards for college and career readiness. David has always put his unusual talents in the service of a clear principle: that an excellent education is not just for some students but for all students.”
Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, 1999-2007: “I have gotten to know David through his work on the Common Core State Standards and his work with reform minded leaders in Florida and throughout the country. David’s impressive leadership helped build the Common Core State Standards into a shared platform that will allow for breakthroughs in innovation and digital learning, all aimed at making our students succeed and our country more competitive. We in Florida have already achieved great things in partnership with the College Board, so I see a huge opportunity for educational improvement with David at the helm.”
Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana: “David has the support of the education leaders of Indiana, including myself. Under his leadership, the Common Core Standards achieved the best conservative principles of efficiency and excellence. I have seen firsthand how AP has played a great role improving outcomes for a wide range of students here in Indiana, so I see huge potential in David’s leadership of the College Board.”
John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado: “David is the ideal leader at the ideal moment for the College Board. His work developing the Common Core Standards proves his special talent for partnering with individual states to help us reach our collective goals. As states like Colorado work to implement high quality standards, assessments and evaluations, David’s vision can make the College Board a transformative partner in ensuring every student graduates ready for college and career.”
Kati Haycock, The Education Trust: “The College Board couldn’t have chosen a better leader for this moment. Key architect of the Common Standards, firmly committed to the twin goals of equity and excellence, and brilliantly creative, David will propel the organization to new heights of influence. I have known David for more than a decade; he understands deeply that all students can achieve at high levels if they have education of sufficient quality and rigor, and will work tirelessly to assure that many more low income students and students of color perform at the highest levels.”
Randi Weingarten, AFT President: “We at AFT have worked closely with David for over a decade. In all the work he has done in education, including the development of the Grow Network and the Common Core Standards, he has made it a priority to work closely with teachers to help them do excellent work. Throughout the country teachers will be delighted that someone known for his passion for teachers and teaching is now President of the College Board.”
Kaya Henderson, District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor: “Based on his leadership of the Common Core State Standards initiative, I can say without hesitation that no one is more committed to improving the state of American education than David Coleman. With his relentless focus and dedication, he has inspired school leaders and teachers to raise our game – he is a true educator. As president of the College Board, David will have a powerful platform from which to work with educators, administrators and policymakers to ensure that every student in America has access to an excellent education.”
Bob Corcoran, GE Foundation President: “David’s appointment as President of the College Board builds on the potential of the Common Core Standards to improve our nation’s education and competitiveness. We have gotten to know David well through our support of Student Achievement Partners. David leaves a remarkable team in place and our foundation remains fully committed to supporting Student Achievement Partners and working with David at the College Board.”
David Coleman grew up in a family of educators and has followed them into this field. Coleman went to public school in New York City until college. At Yale, he taught reading to secondary students in the Ulysses S. Grant program for low-income New Haven students and started Branch–an innovative community service program that worked with students at an inner city New Haven high school. Based on the success of Branch, Coleman received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study English literature at Oxford and classical educational philosophy at Cambridge. He returned to work at McKinsey & Company for five years, where he led much of the firm's pro bono work in education.
Together with a team of educators, Coleman then founded the Grow Network, an organization committed to making assessment results truly useful for teachers, parents, and students. The Grow Network delivered breakthrough quality reports for parents and teachers as well as individualized learning guides for students. Based on the success of Grow, McGraw-Hill acquired the organization in 2005.
Coleman left McGraw-Hill in 2007 and co-founded Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit that assembles educators and researchers to design actions based on evidence to improve student outcomes. Student Achievement Partners played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy, a process that drew on the input of teachers, states, higher education, business leaders, and researchers from across the country. As a Founding Partner, Coleman now helps lead Student Achievement Partners' work with teachers and policymakers to achieve the promise of the Common Core State Standards.
Coleman has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s “11 Education Activists for 2011” and was recently named one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012.
The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.
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