How States Are Leading in Education

Photo of a student smiling

By Chris Minnich 

Welcome! Thanks for visiting CCSSO’s new blog, States Leading.

I have been working on behalf of state leaders for nearly a decade, and I know first-hand that states are making great strides for students every day. One of the best parts of my job is that I get to visit schools with state chiefs and see their work in action:

In South Carolina, I met with students at a middle school who were taking the lead in designing their own education – all a result of how the state is personalizing learning for more students.

In New Mexico, I got to see a principal in action as the instructional leader of his school – taking that school from a struggling school to an A school in just a few years. How? He participated in the state’s Principals Pursuing Excellence Program.

In South Dakota, I met with teachers who were sitting down with policymakers to address the teacher shortage and how to diversify the future educator workforce because the state created a Teacher Table to facilitate the conversation.

In Wyoming, I met Tristan, who wants to study medicine after high school and is well on his way thanks to a unique job-shadowing program at his high school. He has first-hand insight into what it takes to be a medical professional and work in an emergency room.

In Alaska, I met Davidann, a student who lives in a village you can only get to by plane. She has big dreams and wants to become a teacher. I know she will get there because the state and her school district are making sure she has access to the rigorous courses she needs through technology.


These are just some of the places I have visited in recent months, and the great successes I have seen. And I haven’t even mentioned the Every Student Succeeds Act yet.

While I have had the opportunity to see all of these successes, we want to use the relaunch of our new website to share these strong stories of how states are leading with all of you.

That’s why we are launching the States Leading blog – to highlight the efforts of state education chiefs, their agencies, and the hardworking educators in their states.

Some of the work will be broad and high-profile, such as the plans states submitted under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) or how states are creating more equitable opportunities for all kids.

But other stories on this blog will highlight much of the work that is less well-known but just as important. For example, every state is working to create more transparent, easy-to-understand report cards so parents better know how the school is serving meeting their child’s needs.

Or how a small group of states is working together to come up with strategies to diversify the teaching workforce.

But we’ll stop before we give too much away. Consider this just a sneak peek of things to come.

Please check back with us, and follow #StatesLeading on Twitter so you don’t miss a story.


Making sure every child in this country receives an equitable education is a high bar but that’s what our state leaders are working toward. We at CCSSO are proud to support them in this important effort as they ensure the future is bright for every generation to come.

You May Also Be Interested In ...