Credit: Lillian Mongeau/EdSource Today
Deb Sigman at the 2013 EdSource Symposium.

Deb Sigman, the California Department of Education deputy director who is overseeing the state’s switch to a new, online testing system, is leaving the department to become an administrator at the Rocklin Unified School District in Placer County.

Sigman’s last day at the state education department is July 11. She starts her new job as deputy superintendent of educational services in the 12,000-student Rocklin district on July 14.

“I am really yearning to get back to district-level work and to work closely with teachers and students as we implement all the great things that are going on,” Sigman said. The Common Core State Standards, new student testing systems, and the changes to school budgets under the Local Control Funding Formula are exciting opportunities, Sigman said.

“In my role here, it’s been on a policy level,” she said. “But where you implement that, where the work kind of gets done is down at the district level and the school. I’ve missed that and I would like to get back to that.”

Sigman will continue to serve as co-chair of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Executive Committee. The committee is overseeing the switch from the old-fashioned paper-and-pencil bubble tests to computerized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Remaining in that role will maintain consistency as the testing is being rolled out, Sigman said, and she doesn’t expect her role will change in the switch from a state-level to a district-level administrator.

Sigman was an administrator in the Sacramento City and Elk Grove unified school districts before she joined the California Department of Education in 2004. She currently oversees student testing, educational data and charter schools, among other areas.

“Deb’s passion and expertise about education in California has been a huge boon to our students as we make our way through Common Core implementation, transitioning to modern new assessments, and a host of other improvements,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a statement. “We will miss her sorely, but wish her all the best in her new position.”

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