Jacqueline King


Jacqueline (Jaci) King began collaborating with ESG in 2016. Jaci brings her long experience in K-12/higher education collaboration to ESG’s work to help states design and implement “catch-up” courses for Grade 12 students who would otherwise be headed to non-credit developmental courses in college. She helps to advance ESG’s work on college and career readiness and postsecondary credential attainment.

Jaci joined the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in October 2011 as director, higher education collaboration. In that role, she had responsibility for ensuring that higher education institutions were engaged in the process of designing the new assessment system to measure students’ college and career readiness and use the assessments as part of their course placement policies. From fall 2013 to early 2015, King’s responsibilities were temporarily expanded to include services for state K–12 representatives and strategic communications.

Jaci has had a long career in education policy, including 15 years at the American Council on Education (ACE), where she established the ACE Center for Policy Analysis. During her tenure at ACE, she spearheaded efforts to build partnerships between K-12 and higher education leaders and to ensure that college faculty were influential in the development of K-12 state standards. Before joining ACE, she was associate director for policy analysis at the College Board.

Jaci is the author or co-author of numerous reports, articles, and book chapters on K-16 collaboration, student financing of higher education, access and persistence in postsecondary education, student demographic trends, and trends in the leadership of higher education. Her work has been featured on CNN and in national publications such as The New York Times, Time, USA Today, and the Washington Post. She holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Maryland, College Park, a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley. Jaci lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and son.

Why are you in this work?

My commitment to helping all students succeed was first ignited by my mother, who took me to see the inner-city schools where she taught. As a kid, I was so struck by the contrast between the public schools where she worked and my own public schools, and by the breadth of opportunities to learn that my classmates and I took for granted but were sorely missing only a short drive away. More than 30 years later, and with 25 years experience in education policy, I am still motivated by those formative experiences. Thanks, Mom!

Why ESG?

I do my best work when I am challenged by talented colleagues. The staff at ESG are top-notch and come from rich and diverse backgrounds in K-12 and higher education. I learn from them every time we interact, and that motivates me to push my own thinking.

Connect with Jacqueline

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