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News Brief

Friday, August 16, 2013

Stephen Bowen to Join CCSSO Team as Director of Innovation

Maine Education Commissioner to lead initiative to support emerging innovative practices in education
Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced today that Stephen Bowen will join CCSSO to lead the organization's work on innovation.  Bowen will leave his post as Commissioner of Education in Maine and join as the Strategic Initiative Director for Innovation at CCSSO formally in September.  In this role he will direct work in emerging innovative practices in education, including digital learning, competency based learning, and open educational resources.

"We are excited to have Steve leading this very important work at CCSSO. States across the country are focused on ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and career.  They recognize in order to achieve this goal they need to provide innovative solutions to traditional problems and rethink how best to deliver education today. Steve has led Maine in developing some of the most innovative education practices in the country and we look forward to bringing his experience and leadership to the national level," said CCSSO executive director Chris Minnich. 

"I'm thrilled to be working with CCSSO to support innovation in our schools. We have been successful in advancing a number of innovative practices in Maine, especially around proficiency-based learning, and in that work I have found CCSSO to be an invaluable partner. Taking on this role at CCSSO will allow me to work directly with states and state chiefs to explore effective new approaches to teaching and learning, to discover how student outcomes are being improved in schools and districts across the nation, and to harness the Council's network of resources to move those promising practices forward not just in my home state, but across the country. It is an exciting time in public education, this an amazing opportunity, and I can't wait to get started," said Stephen Bowen, Maine Commissioner of Education and incoming CCSSO Strategic Initiative director for Innovation. 

In this role, Bowen will also oversee CCSSO's Innovation Lab Network (ILN), a group of states brought together by CCSSO taking action to identify, test, and implement new and transformative ways to structure the public education system to ensure that each and every child has a personalized pathway to graduate college and career-ready. Current states in the ILN include California, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Bowen will join Jennifer Davis who serves as the Innovation Lab Network Director. Davis previously led the research agenda for the ILN states.  As director she supports states in the network as they spur system-level change by scaling locally-led innovation to widespread implementation both within and across states.

Bowen most recently served as Commissioner of Education in Maine where he focused his efforts on key policy areas such as educator effectiveness, state accountability, digital learning and proficiency-based instructional practices.  He also taught middle and high school social studies, served in the Maine legislature, and worked at a think tank where he focused on education policy research.