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Press Release

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CCSSO Statement on President Obama's ESEA Blueprint

On Monday, March 15, President Obama submitted a blueprint to Congress on how best to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) believes that ESEA must embrace a new state-federal partnership that promotes state leadership and innovation toward the goal of all students graduating college and career ready. CCSSO believes this blueprint is responsive to state calls for reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and is a strong first step toward final reauthorization, which the Council has publicly called for since 2006.

States CCSSO's Executive Director Gene Wilhoit, "The Blueprint is a good starting place for this key reauthorization-and focused on higher expectations and the highest needs students, while showing respect for state autonomy and expertise." CCSSO is encouraged by several points in the blueprint, including the need for an improved state-federal partnership for education reform, increased flexibility for states while holding firm to meaningful accountability, the promotion of innovation in reform, and the commitment to accurately measuring student progress through new assessments and growth models.

CCSSO supports a thorough legislative process to ensure the needs of our nation's students are met, and is eager to work with the Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and the Administration to translate the Blueprint's bold principles into more concrete and specific legislative recommendations. The Council will be discussing the President's proposal and its own ESEA Reauthorization goals at its Legislative Conference March 21-23. Additionally, the Council is releasing its ESEA Policy Statement on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 23. For specific details on the conference and the Council's ESEA Policy statement, please contact Adam Ezring at

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.