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How is ECS different? We’ve created an infographic that tells the story by showcasing our work in 2013.

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Each year at our National Forum on Education Policy, the Education Commission of the States presents several awards to persons, states and organizations that have made significant contributions to public education. ECS is now soliciting nominations for these prestigious awards. To submit a nomination, please use this online form. All nominations must be received by October 30, 2015.

The awards will be presented at the 2016 ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Washington D.C., June 28–30, 2016. If you have any questions about the nomination process, please contact Tonette Salazar at

(See the list of Award Winners)
The James Bryant Conant Award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to American education.
The award is one of the most prestigious honors in the education community. In 1977, the ECS Steering
Committee established the award in honor of its co-founder, James Bryant Conant, a great educator,
scientist and statesman. (Read more about James Bryant Conant.)

The honor is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving education across the country in significant ways such as:

  • Provided leadership on groundbreaking task forces or committees
  • Published works and/or conducted research that profoundly influenced thinking on public education in the United States and/or had a substantial impact on policy
  • Shepherded groundbreaking education reform through the legislative process
  • Demonstrated exemplary service as a public figure or elected official deeply involved in improving education for all.

View the ECS-produced biographical video of Conant, originator of the idea of an interstate compact on education.

(See the list of Award Winners)
The Frank Newman Award for State Innovation recognizes states and territories for enacting innovative
education reforms or implementing innovative programs that go beyond marginal or incremental changes
to improve student outcomes on a large scale. In 2005, ECS named its State Innovation Award in honor of
the late Frank Newman, ECS president for 14 years.

This award is presented to a state for policies, programs or initiatives that:

  • Are replicable and hold valuable lessons for other states
  • Are bold and courageous, including new approaches designed for large-scale impact, or existing approaches with evidence of significant impact on student achievement in the state.
  • Have bipartisan, broad-based support from stakeholders to ensure sustainability.

(See the list of Award Winners)
The ECS Corporate Award recognizes a for-profit corporation, nonprofit organization or foundation that has
demonstrated a sustained commitment to improving public education in the United States. The award
was created under the leadership of ECS 1999-2000 Chair, Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer.

The ECS Corporate Award is presented to organizations or companies that:

  • Support improvement that is consistent with ECS’ mission and priorities
  • Support promising practices to improve student outcomes
  • Enjoy broad-based support in the states or communities in which they operate.


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