The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

September 2023Volume 23, No. 3
Engaging All Students

Even the most casual reader cannot miss the tie that binds the contributions in this issue: Students who are engaged in learning—whether in the classroom or outside of it—are those making connections to interesting, real-world problems throughout the school day, to adults at school, and to their peers. But given the widespread reports of increased student disengagement, this  vision for learning environments appears to be easy to describe but challenging to animate at scale.

Engaging All Students

Getting Students Engaged in Learning

By Jennifer A. Fredricks

Targeted interventions and savvy classroom practices, coupled with supportive state policy, can draw disengaged students back in.

Centering School Connectedness

By Robert Balfanz

High schools are creating student success teams that prioritize relationships and leverage actionable data to reconnect students to school.

Chronic Absence: A Call for Deeper Student and Family Engagement

By Hedy Chang

Connecticut's experience underscores the value of a positive, systemic approach to improving attendance.

Understanding Who Is Missing and Why

By Hailly T.N. Korman

The pandemic only magnified chronic absence among students with the greatest needs and made the problem harder to ignore.

How State Leaders Can Stand Up for the COVID Generation of High Schoolers

By Robin Lake and Travis Pillow

Families need better data on students' academic progress; students need meaningful learning experiences and better information on postsecondary options.

Reengaging High School Students through Career Academies

By Edward C. Fletcher Jr.

When built around four key elements, academies deliver rigorous, relevant learning tied to students' career aspirations.

Trauma-Informed Practices: A Whole-School Policy Framework

By Janet VanLone and Nicole Reddig

State leaders can ensure that more school staff are equipped to help children deal with the effects of trauma.


Student hands on computer keyboard. Image credit: iStock

NCSBEE Voice: Harnessing Students’ Expertise in Communications

When [students] help us create and when we collaborate, we are inspired, and we are more knowledgeable when we write policy and advocate on their behalf.

Photo Credit: iStock

State Board Voice: Kentucky’s Portrait of a Learner

By Lu S. Young

When fully implemented, portraits of a learner become the lever by which teachers, schools, and communities rebalance learning expectations.

Student Voice: Removing Barriers to Student Leadership

By Ryan Hafener

It is important to encourage students to engage with a wide variety of policymakers.

Featured Items

Multiracial group of teachers walking in school hallway. Image credit: iStock i

Strengthening the Principal Pipeline through State Leadership Academies

Missouri, Delaware, and North Carolina have developed evidence-based professional learning for current and prospective school leaders to increase their effectiveness and reduce turnover.
Credit: istock i

State Advances in Early Childhood Education Seed Plans for 2024

In 2023, several states made significant strides toward universal pre-K, increased funding and support for early educators, and improved literacy and math instruction.
Business people sitting on books. Image credit: iStock i

Curriculum That Counts

Authors in this issue of the Standard draw lessons from a spectrum of state policies that are being used to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum.

Upcoming Events

From the States