The Education Commission of the States helps policymakers develop effective policy and practice for public education by providing data, research, analysis, and leadership; and by facilitating collaboration, the exchange of ideas among the states, and long-range strategic thinking.
What is the Education Commission of the States?
Anational organization formed by states, for states, in 1965 to help improve their educational systems, from pre-kindergarten all the way through college and beyond
A commission guided by 371 of the nation’s education leaders who inform our work and share our resources with their peers
An unbiased contributor to the education policy discussion—we don’t advocate for particular education laws or policies and we don’t pick sides
A convener of education stakeholders from different perspectives, such as governors, state legislators, state superintendents, higher education leaders, state board members, and business leaders
A resource on issues across the entire education spectrum, from early learning to postsecondary and the workforce—we provide policymakers and leaders with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions
The intermediary through which states learn from one another to develop effective policies and practices for public education that improve student outcomes.
The Commission is currently comprised of forty-nine states, the territories of American Samoa and U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Each state or territory is represented by seven Commissioners who are selected through a process specified in their statutes. Various committees guide ECS’ policy directions, oversee the budget and investments, and plan our annual meeting.
What Do We Do For You? ECS keeps state policymakers on the leading edge of what's happening by gathering, analyzing, and disseminating information about research, current and emerging issues, trends, and innovations in state education policy. We do the hard work of sifting and sorting—keeping the good information and throwing away the chaff. We give you what you need to make better decisions for your state. Whether you need basic talking points or every last detail of a particular policy, we can help.
Our website provides anytime, anywhere access to the most comprehensive set of state education policy resources in the nation. The ECS State Policy Tracking Database is the only publicly available database of state education policies (enacted laws and executive orders) in the country. We have tracked almost 40,000 policies over the last 20 years. We translate key findings of academic studies that are not easily accessible and post them in our Research Studies Database. We also link to other education websites and good reports so the best information is always at your fingertips.
ECS releases more than 30 publications each year, ranging from 50-state summaries to policy briefs to more in-depth reports on topics from accountability to vouchers. One of our most popular publications is the bimonthly Progress of Education Reform. ECS publishes several newsletters including e-Clips (daily) and e-Connection (weekly).
Expertise-sharing and technical assistance ECS tailors its services to individual states' needs, interests, and resources to help policymakers make the right decisions for their state. We provide customized technical assistance to policymakers and citizens through our information hotline, where we research and answer your question within 24 hours. We also offer expert testimony at committee hearings, give presentations at meetings and conferences, consult on state projects, and collaborate with task forces and peer organizations.
ECS' state, regional, and national workshops and conferences provide policymakers and education leaders with opportunities to share best practices and learn from one another, as well as from experts across the country. The ECS National Forum on Education Policy, held each summer, attracts over 400 people who come together to tackle the top education issues facing states today.