Transitions Conference

Ann Smisko
Chief Academic Officer
Dallas ISD

  As the Associate Commissioner for School Improvement and Educator Initiatives with the Texas Education Agency, Dr. Smisko primarily coordinated efforts to assist struggling schools. She designed a statewide system of school improvement support for district and campuses not meeting student performance goals under either Texas or federal accountability systems. Dr. Smisko was also responsible for educator certification programs, including development of educator effectiveness metrics for use in accreditation of educator preparation programs, and to support student achievement gains in the educator appraisal system. Dr. 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. Before returning to the TEA, she 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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.