Current Projects

College and Career Ready Standards

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 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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Education Technology

NASBE’s project on Education Technology focuses on supporting state boards of education seeking to pass policies that will support learning through the implementation and use of new technology.

NASBE has been a strong believer in the possibility of education technology to improve student learning for almost two decades. NASBE passed a public education position on e-learning in 2001, advocating that state policymakers empower families by integrating digital technology in the classroom and insure equity to help avoid the “digital divide” that is discussed even today. NASBE has continued our leadership in this area with other public education positions over the past 10 years, weighing in on instructional materials in the digital age; digital citizenship and literacy; state longitudinal data systems; educators and next generation learning; and state technology planning.

NASBE’s various projects all integrate aspects of technology in their work; for example, talking about college and career ready students, it is impossible to not also discuss the technological skills that are essential to the success of today’s students. Many of our other existing projects, including our deeper learning work (which frequently touches on personalized learning that can be enhanced through technology) and our education data work have multiple intersections with education technology.

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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. NASBE is helping state boards of education as they develop student health policies regarding anaphylaxis and epinephrine access and use. Resources include specific state policy guides, policy updates, and webinars.

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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 (CSHS) is a resource for information on enhancing student learning and achievement through healthy school policies. The CSHS is the home for NASBE’s School Health Policy Database and the following additional areas of activity: Nutrition and Physical Activity; Epinephrine and Allergies; School Climate and Discipline.

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School Climate & Discipline

NASBE has partnered with six states (GA, MD , MI, OR, VA, WV) and the District of Columbia to promote positive school climate and supportive discipline.  Many of our partners are implementing school safety task forces, collecting disaggregated discipline data, and developing model policies to improve practices at the local systems-level.

School discipline is often overlooked as a critical component for academic success. However, the 2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and the landmark Breaking Schools’ Rules report published by the Council of State Governments have uncovered the following statistics about school discipline and climate:

  • 60% of middle and high school students have been suspended at least once
  • 75% of students with particular educational disabilities were suspended or expelled at least once
  • 59% of black male students and 42% of Hispanic male students reported that they had been suspended or expelled in the past compared to 26% of white male students
  • One suspension in the 9th grade increases the risk of dropping out of high school and each additional suspension increases that risk by 20%
  • Those who have been suspended or expelled have a higher chance of being involved with the juvenile justice center the following year

In light of this research, the US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice launched the Supportive School Discipline Initiative and the Rethink Discipline Campaign (#RethinkDiscipline) to encourage educators and policymakers to question the value of exclusionary and punitive disciplinary policies. In 2014, they released a federal school climate and discipline guidance package to help public schools:

  1. Reform school discipline procedures
  2. Reduce disparities in discipline for minorities and students with disabilities
  3. Meet federal obligations under the Civil Rights Act.

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 promote effective alternatives to exclusionary discipline, oversee implementation of policies that improve school climate, and reduce the number of students referred to law enforcement and juvenile justice systems.

Map of the United States - School Discipline Authority
Map of United States - School Discipline Data

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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

Career Readiness

NASBE is facilitating a year-long study group “The Second ‘C’: Ensuring All Students Graduate College and Career Ready” (2015) to focus on effective programs and policies designed to ensure students graduate from high school career ready. The study group includes state board of education members from across the nation, and is chaired by Mireya Reith, a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education.

Among the issues being explored:

  • Student readiness. Data from ACT and other sources clearly indicate that today’s students do not leave high school with the skills and knowledge they need for success in college or a career. What are the gaps? How can schools help fill those gaps?
  • Funding. The best career education programs offer students opportunities for personalized learning. This is not inexpensive, and with federal funding always uncertain, states may struggle to provide a steady funding stream.
  • Recruiting and retaining strong staff members. It is a challenge to recruit and retain highly effective educators in career fields. Frequently, individuals with strong technical skills may lack the required coursework to earn a teaching certificate. What are best practices in this area? How can state policies on teacher licensure support CTE?
  • Partnerships. Some of the best career training programs are offered by industry and labor unions. How can schools take advantage of this expertise? Can states develop policies that will foster stronger partnerships?
  • Meeting diverse educational needs. How can states start to bridge the gap between “college-ready” learning and “career-ready” learning? If the goal is to have all students leave high school prepared for both college and a career, how will state policies need to be adjusted?

The study group will release a full report of their findings in October at NASBE’s annual conference. The report will provide state boards with timely research and suggest principles by which to craft policies.

To learn more about the Career Readiness Study Group, please contact Francis Eberle.


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School Leadership

NASBE is facilitating a year-long NASBE study group on school leadership: “Successful Leaders for Successful Schools: The Changing Role of Education Leaders.” (2015) The study group is chaired by William “Bill” White, a member of the West Virginia State Board of Education.

NASBE conducts annual study groups to provide professional development to members of state boards of education, set organizational direction and priorities, and inform the state education policymaking process on key issues. This year, NASBE is partnering with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) to facilitate the leadership study group. Previous study groups have explored rural education, 21st century learning and technology use in the classroom, strengthening the teaching profession, deeper learning, and career technical education.

Study group members will examine:

  • The best models for state-level reform in preparing and recruiting strong school leaders.
  • How best to support and retain strong leaders — from promising “grow your own” models to enhanced professional development systems.
  • Data, studies, and existing state policies that help effective principals ensure all students who graduate high school are ready for college, careers, and civic life.
  • Funding approaches that effectively support teachers and ways state policy can level the funding playing field for school administrators.
  • Strategies for encouraging and supporting a progressive “pipeline to principalship” for teachers aspiring to be school leaders.
  • How states can help principals leverage limited resources and funding to meet diverse student needs and capabilities.

At the completion of their work, the study group will  issue a comprehensive report with key insights, findings, and policy recommendations for relevant stakeholders, including members of Congress, federal officials, governors, chief state school officers, and local education policymakers.

Form more information about this study group contact Robert Hull.

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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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