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Press Release

Friday, January 09, 2015

CCSSO Outlines Priorities for ESEA Reauthorization

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2015) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today outlined its priorities for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

"The Council of Chief State School Officers has developed key priorities that we urge Congress to consider to create a long-term, stable federal policy that will give states additional flexibility and encourage innovation, while at the same time holding us accountable for results," said Chris Minnich, Executive Director of CCSSO.

At the beginning of this year, the CCSSO Board of Directors took action to provide guidance and direct CCSSO's advocacy for reauthorization of ESEA on behalf of state education leaders. They outlined four key priorities for reauthorization of the federal law, including the need to address assessments, accountability, evaluations, and funding and flexibility.

Here are the highlights of CCSSO's priorities for the reauthorization of ESEA:

  • Assessments:  States must evaluate all students annually in reading/language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8, and once in high school on assessments aligned with college- and career-ready standards. States must evaluate all students in science one time in each grade span (3-5, 6-9, and 10-12).
  • Accountability: States will have flexibility in designing and implementing state-developed accountability systems that continue to make annual determinations for each school and district and support all students as they make progress toward college- and career-ready expectations.
  • Evaluations: States should have the responsibility and flexibility to design and improve teacher and principal effectiveness systems. ESEA should allow, but not require, states to use federal funds for development and implementation of those systems.
  • Funding and Flexibility: States will have the ability to meet federal requirements through additional flexibility in the way federal funds are allocated. For example, states should be given the authority to combine and utilize federal title funds to better serve disadvantaged students.

For more information and details on CCSSO's priorities, please download a copy of CCSSO's ESEA Key Priorities.


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.