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Press Release

Monday, March 23, 2015

CCSSO Board President June Atkinson Delivers State of the States Address

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

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2015) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers' Board President and North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson on Monday delivered a State of the States address, highlighting the great strides students are making in the nation's public schools. 

This year, the country saw the high school graduation rate rise, as the nation's dropout rate continued to fall, Atkinson told state education leaders assembled from 47 states and territories at CCSSO's 2015 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. 

"No nation has ever put forth the goal of career and college readiness for all students," she said in prepared remarks. "Public schools today are shaping the future of our states and the entire country. So yes, career and college readiness for all students is an ambitious goal, and it is imperative that we do whatever it takes to reach it."

She underscored the importance of early childhood education and career education, encouraging all states "to strengthen and grow CTE programs and provide more opportunities for students to plan for a future career."

Atkinson also stressed the urgent need for Congressional action on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

"Now is a critical time in the reauthorization of ESEA. We have seen our priorities change the language that was put forth in the House and in the Senate. Now, we need the voice of all state chiefs to make sure this language becomes federal law."

Read Atkinson's prepared remarks here.