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

NASBE Joins Campaign to Highlight State Leadership in Education

New Education Campaign Highlights State Leadership to Improve the Nation’s Schools

States Leading will spotlight best practices and progress to ensure educational equity


Washington, D.C. (February 21, 2018) – States are pursuing innovative policies and using best practices to improve the nation’s schools, and a coalition of organizations representing America’s chief state school officers, legislators, state board members and state education policy leaders today announced a campaign to highlight the progress underway in states across the country.

As states finalize their plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the States Leading Campaign will showcase the bold work underway through these plans and beyond to best meet the needs of all students.

The campaign is supported by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Education Commission of the States (ECS), the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

“From high-quality preschool to workforce preparation, states are taking the lead to put the policies and practice in place that will create a more equitable education system for all students,” said CCSSO Interim Executive Director Carissa Miller. “We are proud to partner on the States Leading Campaign to showcase the progress underway in states today and share best practices among state leaders to ensure we continue to move education forward for all kids in this country.”

For example, nearly every state included a strategy to increase students’ career readiness in their ESSA plans. Thirty-five states will hold high schools accountable for some type of career-focused measure, and another eight states aim to incorporate such measures in the future. In addition, all states mentioned early learning or school readiness in their state plans. 

“Because of the opportunity and flexibility ESSA provides, states are stepping up with innovations, new measures of school success, and interventions to meet the needs of their struggling schools,” said NASBE President and CEO Kristen Amundson. “But no state can do this alone; everyone must support efforts to give all students the education they deserve. By showcasing innovative state actions, the States Leading campaign will serve as a rallying cry to bolster state leadership across the nation.”

Beyond ESSA, states are working together to advance shared priorities, including education equity, early childhood education, and teacher preparation, among others.

“Across the nation, we see first-hand the thoughtful and thorough policy improvements states are implementing to increase student outcomes and prepare our children for the next workforce of America,” stated Jeremy Anderson, president of Education Commission of the States. “We are honored to partner on this campaign and highlight the progress states are making.”  

Through social media, weekly email updates and events, the States Leading Campaign will feature innovative state policies and stories of the progress states are making on behalf of their students.

NCSL Executive Director William Pound said, “Education is one of the most important issues state legislators are tackling. Improving student outcomes and how best to prepare all students for college and career are at the forefront of every conversation. Strong states rely on strong economies, and education is the key to building a well-prepared workforce.”

For more information and to sign up for the States Leading newsletter, visit: Follow along and join the conversation at #StatesLeading on social media.


About the Council of Chief State School Officers

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress and the public.

About Education Commission of the States

Education Commission of the States serves as a partner to state policymakers by providing personalized support and helping education leaders come together and learn from one another. Through their programs and services, policymakers gain the insight and experience needed to create effective education policy.

About the National Association of State Boards of Education

NASBE is the only national organization giving voice and adding value to the nation’s state boards of education. A nonprofit organization founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity and ensure continued citizen support for public education.

About the National Conference of State Legislatures

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

Featured Items


New State Strategic Plans Zero In on Learning Recovery

This NASBE analysis looks at 49 state strategic plans and finds many target learning recovery and other pandemic-related education issues.
A diverse group of preschoolers in a classroom i

Preschool for All

The state role in early education keeps growing. This Standard details the ways that states have expanded access to quality preschool, the research that supports these efforts, and the growing pains these initiatives are likely to experience.
Photo Credit: iStock i

Six Questions to Advance Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship

Adolescents consume a lot of screen media, which exposes them to potentially harmful media messages that impacts their physical, mental, and social well-being. Read how some states are equipping students with skills to navigate a complex media landscape.

Upcoming Events

From the States