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Press Release

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

CCSSO Steps Up Support to States to Elevate School Leadership

Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

Washington, D.C. (December 13, 2016) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today launched an online guide to help states take advantage of new funding opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to invest in and elevate school leadership.

The Elevating School Leadership in ESSA Plans: A Guide for States brings together useful resources for state education agencies as they work to elevate school leadership in ESSA plans. For example, the guide contains a tool for state officials to determine how school leadership currently fits into statewide education agendas. It offers key questions for state education chiefs to consider as they prioritize investments to support principals and other school leaders.

A centerpiece of the guide is a new report from RAND Corp. that describes the evidence behind quality existing leadership activities states may choose to use that lead to better outcomes for students and are aligned with federal funding streams. It also includes guidance on how states can design their own state and local programs based in this research.

"School leaders play a critical role in helping all kids succeed once they are in school. This is a critical moment for states and districts to invest in school leadership, and I hope all states find this guide valuable in leveraging the Every Student Succeeds Act to support their state visions for this work," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO.

The new online guide also contains a primer on ESSA terms, an extensive bibliography about school leadership and other tools for crafting effective consolidated plans and engaging local stakeholders.  The guide is designed to be an evolving resource for states and new resources will be added to the site over the course of the next year.

The resource was funded by The Wallace Foundation, a national philanthropy that has supported research and work on improving educational leadership for more than 15 years. An advisory committee with members from numerous national education organizations also contributed to the guide's development.

The new guide is available at www.ccsso.org/ESSAElevatingSchoolLeaders.

The online guide is one of a series of resources being developed by CCSSO to support state education agencies as they lead efforts to transition to ESSA, which includes a focus on supporting the critical role of principals and other school leaders in ensuring success for each student.  Other resources to look for in the future are the CCSSO Title II-A Toolkit and a document exploring how to align the of use the 2015 Professional Standards for Education Leaders to ensure principals create schools that support a diverse range of learners-with a particular focus on students with disabilities.

Learn more about CCSSO's work to support all states on the transition to ESSA at www.ccsso.org/essa.

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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.