Chiefs Promoting High Quality PreK

Chiefs Promoting High Quality PreK

By prioritizing early learning, chiefs create opportunities to promote high-quality prekindergarten to impact early learning outcomes by third grade.  Newly developed quality benchmarks from the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER), supported by latest research, suggest improved effects on mitigating the achievement gap by third grade. Through the launch of the Chiefs Promoting High-Quality Prekindergarten Network, the Council plans to support chiefs and their lead staff to promote the consistent implementation of high-quality prekindergarten at a time when many states are expanding access to prekindergarten programs. 

Throughout the course of this project, CCSSO is working with the following network of nine states and DoDEA to leverage their role as state K-12 leaders to improve the funding, access, and policies that support state-funded preschool programs for all students. The following states/territories have joined the network: Colorado, Delaware, DoDEA, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

An invaluable part of this project has been the establishment of a Teacher Practitioners Advisory Board of six outstanding prekindergarten and early childhood teachers who have been recognized by the Network as exemplary teachers and partners in the planning of this project. Named or nominated for National Teacher of the Year, these state teachers of the year advise the state teams on effective teaching practices in prekindergarten and serve as spokespeople for other prekindergarten teachers across the country. Board members are listed below:

  • Georgia - Nathan Leatherwood and Jodi McNamara
  • California – Ginger Brown
  • DODEA- Sarah Loomis
  • New Jersey- Mark Mautone
  • Maine – Vicki Grotton

Early Care and Education Workforce 2.0

Early Care and Education Workforce 2.0

A growing body of research shows that high-quality care and education in the earliest years of life has a positive effect on children. In addition, there is growing understanding of the need for a knowledgeable and skilled workforce to provide quality early childhood education that makes a difference in children’s lives. State education chiefs and governors and are the key decision-makers in strengthening or transforming policies and practice to support the ECE workforce and can support necessary changes in states’ infrastructure to support these efforts. In partnership with the National Governors Association, CCSSO has launched a network of 10 states that will receive support to develop and carry out action plans focused on one or more specific state policy priorities related to improving their ECE workforce. CCSSO will provide technical assistance and grants to four states who that have a Birth-Grade 12 governance, which include: California, Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The NGA Center for Best Practices Education Division’s project will provide technical assistance and grants support Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Montana, and North Carolina

Early Childhood Education SCASS

Early Childhood Education State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (ECE SCASS)

The ECE SCASS is dedicated to supporting the work of state education agencies on issues of standards, instruction, assessment, data systems, and program design and accountability for children from birth to grade 3. Further information can be found here.

State Consortium on Family Engagement

State Consortium on Family Engagement

The imprint of socialization and early learning is greatly influenced by a child’s family, community, and surroundings. State and federal education agencies recognize the importance of family engagement in the educational process. State policies on parental involvement and support structures for families are prevalent, as is federal policy through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Currently there are (17) states in Cohort I and Cohort II that will be implementing family engagement strategies, espcially in low-income communities. These states will be elevating the outreach to early childhood providers and local districts by developing a Birth to Grade 12 Family Engagement Framework, which will offer a strategic approach to engaging families with early childhood providers and schools.


Cohort I 

In June 2017, CCSSO established the first cohort of seven states:

  • Arkansa
  • Connecticut
  • Masssachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Caroline


Cohort II

In May 2018, CCSSO established a second cohort of ten states:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Wyoming

Past Projects

Action Network on Implementing Statewide Kindergarten Entry

The objective of the Network is to mobilize stakeholders in different parts of a system (i.e., SEA and LEAs) to act in concert, help build a shared understanding of the system and the problem, develop consensus around a common vision, align strategies around that vision, and support one another in the implementation. In addition, the state teams of the Action Network will use an implementation map to assess their current status of implementation, identify areas of future implementation, and devise strategies to meet the implementation needs.


Network of states include:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Washington