From the Expert: CSG Launches Education Initiative

State eNews Issue #43 | March 31, 2010

Ensuring our nation’s youth are prepared for college or a career is one of the top concerns of state policymakers. The Council of State Governments is taking the lead in educating key state policymakers about a new state-led education movement—the Common Core State Standards Initiative—that may help states reach that goal.

Common core standards define the knowledge and skills students should have in grades K-12 so they will graduate high school able to succeed in college or the work force regardless of where they live. CSG will work closely with the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, organizations that have led the push for development and adoption of the standards. Governors and state education commissioners from 48 states have committed to the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

CSG received a $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct meetings for state legislators in its four regions. CSG also will bring together legislators and officials from state boards and departments of education to discuss the adoption and implementation process for the Common Core State Standards.

CSG will host regional and state meetings related to the initiative that will place state legislators and education officials in the optimal position to get this policy going. The initiative will inform state legislators on the common core in their states and encourage collaboration with their state’s board of education and department of instruction.

The policy initiative is aligned with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation U.S. Program’s educational work in high schools. The initiative strives to ensure students around the country will have the opportunity to graduate ready for success with the ability to reach their full potential. CSG will work to educate policymakers on the critical need to ensure all students graduate from high school with the skills necessary to enter college or the work force and to show states how adopting the Common Core State Standards can help them reach that goal.

Through a series of four regional summits, as well as targeted roundtable and outreach meetings in 12 states, CSG will engage attendees in a facilitated discussion on the policies and programmatic solutions needed to ensure every student has the knowledge and skills needed for a successful college experience or a career.

CSG will conduct one-day regional policy summits drawing from member states in each of the organization’s regional offices. The initiative targets chairs of the house and senate education committees or leaders in a state house or senate. In collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Governors Association, CSG will create an agenda that will include plenary and breakout sessions that will inform policymakers of why the initiative is important, how common standards will be useful to students, educators, leadership, parents and states, and what the adoption process entails.

Additionally, CSG will serve as an informational clearinghouse for the states involved in the project, other stakeholders and CSG membership at large. This includes maintaining the CSG education Web site with educational materials, state policy examples and state-by-state legislative activity.

For more information, contact Pam Goins, director of education policy, at (859) 244-8142 or at

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