Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday has assumed the role of president of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). For the past year he served as the group’s president-elect.

“I am proud and very humbled to serve this outstanding organization,” Holliday said. “If you look at the accomplishments of CCSSO over the last five to six years, you see an organization that is certainly a strong leader in public education.”

The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses its views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

Holliday said as president of CCSSO, he will continue to push for action on education issues of importance.  During the upcoming year, he intends to focus on communication, collaboration, creativity, innovation and career-readiness.

  • Communication and Collaboration – The diversity of context and opinions among states is a strength of the organization, according to Holliday.
    “CCSSO must continue to look for ways that all state voices are heard and valued and reach out to other national organizations,” Holliday said. “Our voice needs to be heard in administrative and teacher organizations and we must in turn listen and act on the feedback we receive from these organizations.”
  • Creativity and Innovation – The Innovation Lab Network focuses on developing innovative models to help more students reach college/career-ready standards. Holliday said its work must move from a handful of states, which includes Kentucky, to a national effort to find innovative practices that can be scaled to help more students be successful and reach college/career-ready standards.
  •  Career-readiness — Most states have done an excellent job defining and implementing college-ready strategies, according to Holliday. However, as a recent report from the Center on Education Progress pointed out, there is much work to do with career-ready definitions, measures, assessments and accountability, he said.

Holliday notes that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is leading the National Governors Association (NGA) Education and Workforce Committee as well as the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and has committed to focus on career-ready work with both organizations.

“I think CCSSO has a great chance for synergy between our organization, NGA and SREB to emphasize career-ready work,” Holliday said.

Holliday hopes his work with CCSSO will not only have an impact on the future of children in the Commonwealth of Kentucky but also make a difference for the future of millions of children across the nation.

In December 2010, Holliday was named to the board of directors for CCSSO. He also serves on the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card. In February 2012, he was named as a member of the national Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting, which developed rigorous accreditation standards for educator preparation that will raise the bar for preparation providers. Holliday has served as Kentucky’s commissioner of education since 2009.