Dr. Chism is the Director for the Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) program in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. SASA is responsible for administering Title I, Part A Grants to Local Educational Agencies, Title III English Acquisition State Grants, the State Agency Neglected and Delinquent program, the State Assessment Grant program, the Enhanced Assessment Grant program, and the McKinney-Vento Program for Homeless Children and Youth. SASA administers over $15.6 billion annually in federal program funds. These programs provide financial assistance to States, school districts, and schools to meet the educational needs of children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet challenging academic standards established by States. Students served include at-risk children who are from low-income families, children and youth in neglected and delinquent institutions, as well as homeless children, and English Learners.
Dr. Chism has held a series of positions in the field of education as a teacher, researcher, and state administrator. In these positions she gained a deep knowledge of what is required to close achievement gaps and cultivate culturally proficient schools. Immediately prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education she was with the Illinois State Board of Education, where she served as an Assistant Superintendent.