Expanding the Impact of State Education Organizations
In the wake of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), what most see as a seismic shift back to state control over education, the U.S. faces some strategic opportunities and real threats.
The opportunities lie in the innovative new approaches that could occur in states without the federal government playing the muscular role they’ve played for more than a decade. There is exciting new work emerging in schools around redefining what student success looks like, expanding personalization, and better addressing equity. States now have increased autonomy to support such efforts. And while states have an opportunity in the coming months to create new plans in response to ESSA, the bigger opportunity is in the long, hard road of implementing those ideas with fidelity and integrity.
Integral to that implementation are state education organizations (SEOs). SEOs are independent, non-profit organizations that add capacity to state and local education agencies, inform public policy, support implementation of policy, break new ground with innovative ideas, and serve as crucial bulwarks and harbormasters, ensuring continuity of vision over time and across political divides.