U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos today named former Michigan Gov. John Engler — with whom she worked as a state Republican Party official when he was in office — to a national education assessment board as chairman.

DeVos appointed Engler and five others to four-year terms on the 26-member National Assessment Governing Board, beginning Oct. 1. The board helps set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which conducts periodic assessments on student performance in nearly a dozen subjects.

Engler was a driving force behind education reforms in Michigan in the 1990s including the push for charter schools in the state. DeVos was brought on as education secretary by President Donald Trump this year after a long history as a school choice advocate and, along with her family, active Republican fundraisers and financial supporters.

NAEP is part of the National Center for Education Statistics, which is under the Education Department. The governing board determines the subjects and contents of NAEP tests, assesses achievement levels and releases the results.

"I am ... thrilled that Gov. Engler has agreed to serve as board chair. He is a tireless advocate for all of our nation’s students and his strong leadership will be a substantial asset to the board," DeVos said.

DeVos served both as state party chairwoman during part of Engler's tenure as governor as well as a member of the Republican National Committee.

Contact Todd Spangler at 703-854-8947 or at tspangler@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tsspangler.