TEA News Releases Online
Feb. 5, 2010
Associate commissioner to focus on rule review,
school improvement, and federal programs
AUSTIN – Ann Smisko, a recognized education leader, will return to the Texas Education Agency Feb. 16 as the associate commissioner for school support and improvement.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Smisko back to TEA. Because of her recent work in an urban school district, she understands firsthand how state education policy works when implemented at the classroom level. Dr. Smisko brings a wealth of knowledge and experience involving curriculum development, testing and textbook selection to the agency,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Scott.
In her new role, Smisko will oversee an across-agency review of the commissioner’s rules to help determine if any rules can be eliminated or modified. Scott announced recently that all the education rules that are the responsibility of his office will go through an informal review process to determine whether they are still needed or whether they could be modified to reduce the work load on school districts and charter schools.
Smisko will also coordinate the agency’s efforts to assist struggling schools, which will include the efforts of the state turnaround center and agency programs that support turnaround efforts at the local school district level.
Additionally, Smisko will oversee programs funded under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly referred to as “No Child Left Behind,” and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Smisko previously worked at TEA from 1977 to 2003 in a variety of roles. From 1996 until 2003, she served as the associate commissioner for curriculum, assessment and technology. In that job, she oversaw the creation of both the curriculum standards called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), which is the student testing program. She also oversaw the state review, purchase and delivery of billions of dollars of textbooks and other instructional material.
She most recently served for four years as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction with the Austin Independent School District. She is the former associate vice chancellor for public schools for the Texas A&M University System and served as supervisor of student teachers for Boston College. Smisko began her education career as a teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
She holds elementary, special education, mid-management and superintendent certifications in Texas.
Smisko earned a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas, a Master of Education from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University.