Viola Garcia was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) earlier this month by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. The NAGB has oversight over the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which “is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science, and writing.”
Garcia signed the controversial letter that asked Biden for federal assistance in reviewing threats against schools and administrators to determine if they violated the Patriot Act and other hate crime laws. The NSBA's letter followed clashes between educators and upset parents over coronavirus policies and critical race theory being taught on campuses.
As Breitbart reported, “Citing threats to school officials and local school board members that have been received in the mail and via social media, NSBA ‘asks that a joint collaboration among federal law enforcement agencies, state and local law enforcement, and with public school officials be undertaken to focus on these threats.'”
According to emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, the NSBA was in talks with Biden administration officials in the weeks leading up to sending their letter.
“These are troubling times,” Garcia wrote in one of the emails. “NSBA has been engaged with the White House and the Department of Education on these and other issues related to the pandemic for several weeks now.”
On Friday, the NSBA apologized for some of the language used in the letter, writing in part, “On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter.” Additionally, the letter continued to say, “there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”
This letter sparked a fire on Capitol Hill after Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted he took the word of NSBA to target parents as “domestic terrorists” during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.
The NSBA, which represents over 90,000 school board members, saw state school boards associations across the country distance themselves from the organization's letter to Biden.