Current Projects

Blended Learning

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is leading a one-year initiative to help state board of education members nationwide better understand the concepts and policymaking associated with blended learning. The work is supported with a grant from the Jaquelin Hume Foundation.

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Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

The project on Common Core Standards – funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – focuses on helping states move past adoption to developing comprehensive policies to implement those standards.

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Deeper Learning

NASBE’s Deeper Learning Initiative provides state policymakers the essential tools to make smart decisions on ways to prepare more students for college, career, and civic success. The deeper learning principles build on a larger body of work that includes “twenty- first century skills,” “habits of mind”, “college and career readiness,” and “student-centered learning.” Deeper learning competencies encompass the ability to master academic content; think critically and solve complex problems; work collaboratively; communicate effectively; and learn how to learn. The goal of NASBE’s project is to support states as they facilitate educational experiences that deliver on both the knowledge and skills students need to succeed. This project is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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Early Childhood Education

NASBE has been working on Early Childhood Education for two decades. From the report “Right From the Start” to the most recent “Promoting Quality In PreK-Grade 3 Classrooms”, NASBE works closely with state board of education members, state education and other agencies charged with administering early childhood education programs to help states create an infrastructure to support the delivery of quality services to children and their families.

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Education Data Privacy

The project on Education Data Privacy focuses on supporting state boards of education seeking to create or implement stronger state privacy policies through publications, webinars, collaboration with other privacy and education organizations, in-state and regional meetings, and sessions at our national meetings.

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With the rise in reported food allergies among students in the last 15 years, it is crucial that policymakers understand how to best prepare school personnel to deal with related health emergencies. To help with those efforts, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is launching a new initiative designed to help state boards of education as they develop student health policies regarding anaphylaxis and epinephrine access and use.

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Next Generation Science Standards

Following the final release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), state boards of education are the entities that will be charged with examining them based on their merits and the needs of their states, as well as with implementing the standards following adoption through policy, practice, and communications. With twenty-six leadership states involved in the development of the NGSS and with nearly all state boards having authority over the adoption and implementation of standards for their respective states, NASBE’s support will be critical in helping states make informed, evidence-based decisions.

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Nutrition and Physical Activity

NASBE’s Nutrition and Physical Activity work provides research-based capacity-building assistance and information to education leaders to help schools establish, maintain, and evaluate healthy school nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention environments.

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Center for Safe and Healthy Schools

NASBE’s Center for Safe and Healthy Schools is the umbrella for our Increasing Healthy Eating project and the project to Strengthen Leadership and Governance for HIV Prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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School Discipline

The growing debate over school discipline has led many educators and policymakers to question the value of punishments involving out-of-school suspensions and the existence of zero-tolerance policies. To help state education leaders address these issues, NASBE is partnering with several states to examine and reform disciplinary practices.

In July 2011, the Departments of Justice and Education launched the Supportive School Discipline Initiative to mobilize government, law enforcement, academic, and community leaders across the county to address the so-called school-to-prison pipeline.  The initiative was spurred by the release of Breaking School Rules, a landmark report published by The Council of State Governments, which found among other facts, that 60 percent of middle and high school students were suspended or expelled at least once during their academic career. Findings from the 2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) report increased momentum toward reform as the public learned that minority and special education students face tougher disciplinary consequences than their peers.

School discipline is often overlooked as a critical component for academic success. However, state boards of education have unique opportunities to promote a safe and supportive learning environment for every student.

NASBE’s work in this area focuses on strengthening the capacity of state boards of education to ensure that all students receive equal educational opportunities by creating and overseeing the implementation of policies that improve school climate, promote effective alternatives to exclusionary discipline, and reduce the number of students referred to law enforcement and juvenile justice systems.

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School Leadership

Recognizing the importance of school leadership in education, NASBE and The Wallace Foundation are extending their partnership in the exploration of education leadership in 2012. NASBE work will continue to explore leadership through the lens of state policy.

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Summer Learning

Recognizing the importance of out-of-school time in education, NASBE and The Wallace Foundation are extending their partnership in the exploration of summer learning. The upcoming NASBE work will continue to explore summer learning through the lens of state policy.

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Current Study Groups

Student Engagement

NASBE Student Engagement Study Group (2014)

Most students start school with a strong desire to learn. But over the years, that desire seems to wane. One study of 1,500 classrooms found that in 85 percent, fewer than half of all students were “engaged” in learning. In other words, only 15 percent of these classrooms had most of their students focused on learning.

The lack of student engagement manifests itself in many ways. A recent analysis published by the Center for American Progress (CAP), based on student surveys from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, found that students are general not engaged in what they are learning. Large percentages say their schoolwork is “too easy.” Many say they are rarely engaged in deep or rigorous learning activities—and students from disadvantaged backgrounds are even less likely to say they are challenged in class. So it should not be surprising that more than one in four students leaves school before graduating.

Yet in a world where US students must compete not only with their peers from neighboring states, but also from students around the world, it is critical that students are engaged in what they are learning. The authors of the CAP study suggested that students may be doing poorly on tests like the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) assessment “because they’re not challenged in school.” So a failure to engage students is not only a personal imperative . . . it is an economic necessity.

Student engagement is also an equity and diversity issue. Four conditions that create engaged people as adapted from Glasser’s choice theory are: 1) some component of fun, 2) the ability for the participants to choose and exercise an appropriate amount of personal power, 3) the sense of belonging to something greater than themselves, and 4) a sense that, although not yet able, they have a fighting chance at gaining competence at a given task. Disadvantaged students, students who do not fit the standard mold, students with learning disabilities, and all of those who are perceived and treated as such are much more likely to suffer a lack of all four. To advance equity and inclusion in our nation’s education system demands that we attend to student engagement and the components that foster it.

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Rural Education

NASBE Rural Education Study Group (2014)

The number of rural students enrolled in public schools is increasing both as an absolute number and a percentage of the total population – more than 1 million students. According to the 2013 Condition of Education report by the U.S. Department of Education roughly one third (32,000) of the approximately 100,000 public school in the United States on 2010-11 were located in rural areas. This is greater than the number of schools in the suburbs (27,000).  The enrollment in these schools is growing due to an influx of young parents, immigrants and minorities who have been attracted by jobs in agriculture and energy.

There is evidence that student in rural schools can thrive as they are likely to have smaller classes with high levels of community support. There are many examples of successful rural schools. At the same time the high numbers of low-income rural students tend to have lower student achievement.

It is within this context, this NASBE study group will investigate rural education. This includes convening three in-person, two day meetings of state board members, panelists and experts, writing and disseminating a report with policy implications about rural education in this country at the NASBE Annual Meeting in October 2014 and to all state board members in the United States.

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Board Development

NASBE provides a number of services aimed at building capacity for boards and developing boardsmanship among its members.

Board Development

Government Affairs

Here you will find education-related information as it becomes available from Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Government Affairs


Here you will find resources that relate to policymaking including theories, techniques and best practices. Click below to view our policymaking materials.


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