President Biden Appoints Peggy Carr to Serve as NCES Commissioner
President Biden Appoints Peggy Carr to Serve as NCES Commissioner

August 2021

On August 16, President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Peggy G. Carr to serve as commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Carr, an experienced methodologist with expertise in educational statistics and assessment, has had a long and distinguished record of public service, including most recently as NCES associate commissioner for assessment.

In a statement, education secretary Miguel Cardona said, “By tapping Peggy Carr as NCES Commissioner, the President recognizes a dedicated public servant with a distinguished record of providing the American people—including practitioners, advocates, and leaders at every level—with clear, reliable, actionable information on the state of education and the progress of our students.”

Carr has previously been at the helm of NCES. She served as Acting Commissioner for several years until the appointment of Dr. James “Lynn” Woodworth in 2018 by President Trump. She was named acting NCES commissioner with Woodworth’s departure on June 20. Along with Carr’s assessment work at NCES is her notable leadership responsibility for the administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Her prior positions include serving as the chief statistician for the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Carr holds a B.S. from North Carolina Central University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Howard University.

“We applaud President Biden for appointing Dr. Peggy Carr as NCES commissioner,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Dr. Carr is the right appointment at just the right time. Her command of educational statistics, data, and measurement and her knowledge of the U.S. and international data systems provide just the right ingredients for moving forward without a deep learning curve and yet with a strong track record of thinking ‘out of the box’ and working effectively with research, policy, and practice communities. This appointment also brings essential expertise to grappling with issues of equity in education and how to meaningfully assess it.”

The position of NCES commissioner is a presidential appointment for a fixed six-year term, as stipulated in the Education Sciences Reform Act. Carr’s term as commissioner will end on June 20, 2027.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Carr in her new role as NCES commissioner to elevate the importance of objective, trustworthy, and timely education statistics and their use in research and to inform evidence-based policymaking,” Levine said.