Welcome to a new year! Though many of you are returning to your posts, we’ll also be seeing a lot of new faces around the policymaking table. In 2019, there will be 20 new governors, 21 new state board of education members, two new elected chief state school officers and hundreds of new state legislators showing up for their first day on the job.
It is shaping up to be another important year for education policy in the states. As newly elected leaders work toward achieving their campaign promises related to education, they will also need to get up to speed on a variety of issues from school funding and academic standards to teacher recruitment and retention.
Over the years, Education Commission of the States has seen that the key to successful education policymaking is building strong relationships among education leaders and their stakeholders across the states. It’s easy in today’s fast-paced and partisan environment for education leaders to get stuck in their own silos, and we believe education policy leaders can accomplish great things for students through collaboration. We encourage new and returning leaders to capitalize on all the opportunities the new year brings by engaging each other across issues, agencies and aisles.
We’ve heard from our own leadership that creating the time and space for education policy leaders to connect and share ideas is an important part of the policymaking process. In fact, almost half of the policymakers at our Winter Commissioners Meeting in November identified convening with key state education leaders as the most useful tool for new governors. We know each education policy leader brings a unique and important perspective and believe strong leaders can unify these perspectives into one cohesive vision for education policy in their state.
We look forward to working with all of you this year, both those of you who are new and those who will be returning for another year. Let’s all move forward into 2019 with a collaborative mindset that stays true to our main goal in this work: ensuring all students in all states have access to the best education.
This is regular feature from Education Commission of the States President Jeremy Anderson. What should he write about next month? Tell him!