Smarter Balanced Names Mursky Director of Professional Learning

Experienced educator to oversee development of formative assessment resources for teachers


 OLYMPIA, Wash. – February 1, 2013 – The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) today announced the appointment of Chrystyna V. Mursky, Ph.D., as director of professional learning. Mursky will oversee the development of formative assessment strategies and professional learning opportunities for teachers, a key component of the Smarter Balanced assessment system. She begins February 4.


“Over the next 18 months, Smarter Balanced will engage teams of teachers from each member state to develop a comprehensive suite of professional learning tools and resources aimed at supporting classroom-based use of the assessment system,” said Joe Willhoft, Ph.D., executive director of Smarter Balanced. “Chrystyna’s experience as a teacher and administrator will ensure that the Consortium remains focused on meeting the needs of classroom teachers.”


As director of professional learning, Mursky will collaborate with Smarter Balanced work groups, content leads, and partners to implement the Formative Assessment Master Work Plan. Approved by Governing States in June 2012, the work plan describes the process for developing a digital library of formative assessment strategies and practices that enhance day-to-day classroom instruction, as well as online resources to help educators interpret Smarter Balanced interim and summative score reports.


As part of this work, Smarter Balanced will convene state leadership teams charged with recruiting an average of 100 educators from each member state to form state networks of educators. These educator networks will provide feedback on the development of formative assessment resources and professional learning tools. They will also serve as ambassadors to help states engage stakeholders with resources and trainings to understand and interpret assessment results. Additional information on the Formative Assessment Master Work Plan can be found at:


“Teachers are poised to help all students meet the challenge of college- and career-ready standards,” said Mursky. “I’m excited to be a part the Consortium’s efforts to provide robust professional learning tools that give teachers the guidance and support to incorporate formative assessment activities into their classrooms and use student data to differentiate instruction.”


With more than 30 years of education expertise, Mursky has taught or served as an administrator at every level, from K-12 to higher education. Most recently, she served as a statewide program director for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, where she oversaw reforms designed to improve equity and student performance. Mursky also designed and implemented professional development activities on educator effectiveness, curriculum development, effective instructional strategies, balanced assessment systems, response to intervention, and the Common Core State Standards. She received her Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from Marquette University.




About Smarter Balanced
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium brings together states to create a common, innovative assessment system for mathematics and English language arts that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and helps prepare students for college and careers. The Consortium involves educators, researchers, policymakers, and community groups in a transparent and consensus-driven process to help all students thrive in a knowledge-driven global economy. The Consortium’s projects are funded through a four-year, $175 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, comprising 99 percent of activity resources, with the remaining support provided through generous contributions of charitable foundations. Membership is open to any interested U.S. state. For more information, please visit

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