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January 2023Volume 23, No. 1
Leading and Governing

Is there another domestic policy space more complicated than state education governance? In the face of the 50-plus ways of constructing state systems of public education in this country, the authors in this issue attempt to tease out what constitutes strong leadership and effective governance. It requires that the myriad leaders of the interlocking parts fix on common goals, work collaboratively to achieve them, seek data on outcomes, and commit to bringing more light than heat to conflicts that arise along the way. State boards of education are part of the mix to add stability to goal setting and ward off partisan attempts to whipsaw the system this way then that. Easier said than done, say readers who can recall painful episodes where efforts to do good things on behalf of students fell flat.

Leading and Governing

Effective State Education Governance

By Arnold F. Shober

No one model is clearly superior, but relationships, talent, and shared loyalty are marks of governance systems that get things done.

Roadmap to Excellence: Strategic Planning for State Boards

By Abigail Potts and Paolo DeMaria

Savvy boards can increase the odds their plans will live, breathe, and have measurable impact.

State Takeovers: No Silver Bullet for School District Improvement

By Beth Schueler

On average, takeover fails to improve achievement measures, but how it is done matters a lot.

Harnessing the Power of Evidence-Based Policymaking

By Heather Boughton and Sara Kerr

State boards should lean into education data and work to overcome challenges to doing so.

State Boards and the Governance of Early Childhood Education

By Elliot Regenstein

As states seek to bring coherence to the disparate systems that have a hand in early education and care, state boards have key roles to play.

African-American teacher reading to school children. Image credit: iStock

The Role of Teachers Unions in School Governance during COVID-19

By Lesley Lavery and Sara Dahill-Brown

While relationships with school leaders were contentious in places, many districts benefited from collaborative ones.


From the President’s Pen: Want to Be a Great State Board Member?

By Paolo DeMaria

We are stronger when we work together and seek common ground.

Woman talking on panel at meeting. Image credit: iStock

The NASBE Interview: Clarence Crawford, Eric Davis, and Casandra Ulbrich

By Casandra Ulbrich, Clarence Crawford and Eric Davis

As a board, we can disagree on policy matters without becoming disagreeable.

NCOSEA Voice: Resolving Disputes without a Lawyer

By Mackenzie Williams

Resolving disputes requires careful attention to relationships and a willingness to work together.

Woman talking on panel at meeting. Image credit: iStock

NCSBEE Voice: Adopting a Seal of Biliteracy: A State Perspective

By McCall Flynn

The seal of biliteracy is important for our students and marks their readiness to engage a globalized world.

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.
A multi-ethnic group of seven children standing in a row in a school hallway, laughing and smiling at the camera. The little boys and girls are kindergarten or preschool age, 4 to 6 years. 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.

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