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Top Staffer at National Governors' Group Leaving Post

Dane Linn, a top staffer at the National Governors Association who helped shepherd efforts to establish common academic standards across states, is leaving his position to join the College Board.

Linn, who directs NGA's education division, tells Ed Week that he has accepted a position as executive director of state strategy at the College Board, and that he will begin work there in late January.

"After spending nearly 15 years at NGA, I have decided to take on a new challenge," Linn said in an email. "NGA has provided me the opportunity to directly impact state policy across a number of issues. I look forward to applying the expertise that I have developed over the years to help inform the development of education policy grounded in research and best practices."

Linn was a lead player in organizing one of the most dramatic attempts to change U.S. education policy in recent years: the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a sweeping effort to create more-uniform academic expectations across states. NGA directed that effort, along with the Council of Chief State School Officers.

That effort has drawn criticism in some quarters from those who see it as a back-door attempt to federalize or nationalize curriculum; others have questioned the standards' depth and quality. Yet the standards have won the backing of the vast majority of governors and state schools superintendents around the country. At last count, 46 states, plus the District of Columbia, have agreed to adopt them.

The College Board, based in New York, is a big name in the world of education, and is perhaps best known as the sponsor of the SAT, the college-admissions test. It also directs the Advanced Placement curriculum-and-testing program.

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