Education Commission of the States
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) is an interstate compact created in 1965 to improve education by facilitating the exchange of information, ideas, experiences, and innovations among state policymakers and education leaders.
Forty-nine states, three territories, and the District of Columbia constitute the commission's membership, each represented by the governor and six other individuals: legislators, chief state school officers, state and local school board members, higher-education officials, superintendents, teachers, and business leaders. The ECS chairmanship and vice chairmanship are held by a governor and a legislator, respectively, alternating between the two major political parties.
The Education Commission of the States' status as a nonpartisan organization, involving key leaders from all levels of the education system, creates unique opportunities to build partnerships, share information and promote the development of policy based on the best available research and strategies. ECS obtains financial support through a combination of state fees and contracts, sponsorships, and grants from foundations, corporations and the federal government.
ECS, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has three operating divisions that work together to provide state policymakers with the services and products they need to make informed policy decisions about education. The Information Clearing-house gathers, analyzes, disseminates, and serves as a repository of information on a broad range of education topics, from a wide variety of sources–including state legislation, research studies, reports, journals, and news articles. ECS provides access to this extensive collection of material through its website, through various print publications, and through customized, quick turnaround searches by Clearing-house staff.
Through its Policy Studies and Programs Division, ECS identifies, studies, and provides heightened visibility for education trends and issues that are of greatest concern to its constituents. The organization's current areas of focus are accountability, finance, governance, leadership, and teaching quality.
State Services provides a range of customized technical assistance to states: consultation and advice, testimony at legislative hearings, policy audits and analysis, meeting facilitation, and support for partnerships and networks.
ECS sponsors state, regional, and national conferences (including the annual National Forum on Education Policy), all of which provide policy-makers, educators, and other interested parties with an opportunity to share ideas and learn from one another.
See also: STATES AND EDUCATION.
EDUCATION COMMISSION OF THE STATES. 2002. <www.ecs.org>.
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