States Take Meaningful Action to Advance Educational Equity

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Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2018) –– From working to diversify the educator workforce to increasing access and opportunities to career pathways and providing mental health and other supports that create conditions for learning, states are pursuing policies and practices to ensure more equitable education systems for all students.  

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today released a new publication, States Leading:Promising Practices Advancing the Equity Commitments 2019, highlighting states’ efforts to ensure educational equity for all students.  

Two years ago, CCSSO and the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program joined together to publish Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs, which outlines 10 commitments to address longstanding barriers to equity for all students. States have made significant progress across those commitments and today’s publication, States Leading for Equity: Promising Practices Advancing the Equity Commitments 2019, shows how state leaders are working closely with stakeholders to tackle inequities in education systems.  

The publication provides a brief overview of practices and policies states are currently engaging in. It is intended to show promising examples of state action as a milestone on this journey to share the progress states have made while recognizing the difficult work remaining. State chiefs know that the journey towards equity is just beginning and this document recognizes positive starts along that path.  

“I am proud to see the specific and meaningful ways state chiefs across the country are working  to deliver more equitable opportunities to every student in their systems,” said CCSSO Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller. “We know the work is far from done when it comes to addressing what have often been systemic inequities in our education systems, but two years on our resolve is strong and we remain excited and inspired for the hard work ahead.” 

Applying an equity lens to education requires that we continuously identify the impact of decisions on underrepresented, vulnerable and at-risk communities,” said CCSSO Chief Equity Officer Annie Holmes.The states highlighted in this updated report are just a sample of states that are Leading for Equity through actions and initiatives that will have a long-lasting impact on all students. Providing equitable opportunities benefits all students, teachers, leaders and communities.” 

This year’s Leading for Equity publication was released during a panel at CCSSO’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., where national, state, and school-level education leaders discussed fostering diverse and learner-ready educators, one of the ways state chiefs are approaching equity work. Panelists included Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matthew Blomstedt, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet, U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., and D.C. teacher and 2019 National Teacher of the Year finalist Kelly Harper. 


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, Bureau of Indian Education, 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. 


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