TEA News Release Online
March 12, 2009
Givens named associate commissioner;
Booker to chair stimulus task force
AUSTIN – Anita Givens, a veteran manager at the Texas Education Agency, has been promoted to associate commissioner of standards and programs, a job in which she oversees key areas such as curriculum, textbooks, special programs and No Child Left Behind activities.
Commissioner of Education Robert Scott also announced that he is creating the Commissioner’s Task Force on Federal Stimulus and Stabilization to formalize work that has been under way in the agency since Congress passed the landmark stimulus bill known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last month.
Jerel Booker, associate commissioner for educator quality and standards, will chair the task force. Booker, who has extensive experience developing federal proposals, has in the past administered more than $10 million in federal grant funds for research and special projects. He also worked closely with federal and state regulatory agencies and served as a liaison to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
“We face large immediate tasks – updating our curriculum standards, preparing students for postsecondary success, and overseeing the expedited but appropriate spending of billions of dollars of new federal funds. I’m confident that the actions taken today will help assure our success,” Scott said.
The commissioner said Givens is known as an organized manager who pays close attention to detail. Givens has served as acting associate commissioner of standards and programs since the fall and has played a key role in efforts to update science, and Career and Technical Education curriculum standards. Givens is widely considered one of the state’s foremost experts on the use of technology in the classroom.
Givens’ previous jobs at TEA include serving as deputy associate commissioner for standards and alignment, and senior director of instructional materials and educational technology.
One of her new duties will include serving on the stimulus task force.
The 22-member Commissioner’s Task Force on Federal Stimulus and Stabilization is composed of TEA managers of departments and divisions. Joining Booker on the executive committee of the task force will be Gene Lenz, deputy associate commissioner for special programs, and Nora Hancock, associate commissioner for planning, grants, and evaluations. Susan Hunter Smith will serve as counsel to the executive committee.
Booker, with assistance from the executive committee, will be charged with coordinating agency plans in response to the federal legislation. As much as $6 billion in federal funding is expected to flow to Texas educational institutions through this legislation designed to help the nation’s economy recover.