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

ECS infographic




About ECS

The Education Commission of the States was created by states, for states, in 1965. We track state policy trends, translate academic research, provide unbiased advice and create opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another.

What sets us apart

  • We don't take sides. We're not an advocacy organization.
  • We are non-partisan. By law, our chair alternates between Democratic and Republican governors every two years. We provide a platform for meaningful dialogue wherever you stand.
  • We cover the P-20 spectrum. We work with policymakers, researchers and practitioners at all levels of education, from pre-K to postsecondary and beyond.
  • We cross silos in governance. ECS is the only state-focused national organization to bring together governors, state legislators, K-12 and higher education department chiefs and other education leaders.

Our funding

ECS receives a majority of our funding from the states we serve, as well as the District of Columbia and the territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, see our annual reports and tax returns.

How we serve states

Each state or territory is represented by seven Commissioners who are selected through a process specified in their statutes. Commissioners serve on various committees, which guide ECS's policy directions, oversee the budget and investments, and plan our annual meeting.

Ongoing services we provide

  • State Education Policy Tracking. Learn how other states are tackling issues with our database of more than 36,000 education laws from 1994 to present, searchable by state, topic and year
  • 50-State Databases. Compare your state’s laws to other states with specialized databases focusing on issues such as kindergarten, remedial education and dual enrollment.
  • Research Summaries. Base your decisions on the latest academic research, translated in reader-friendly language and searchable by the questions policymakers are asking.
Sampling of special projects

Reporting Remediation – With funding from the Lumina Foundation, ECS is working on a project aimed at better understanding how different states calculate college remedial rates. This work is guided by a steering committee led by Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester and Idaho Sen. John Goedde. Products will include a 50-state database and report.

College Readiness – ECS is continuing the Blueprint Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Designed for state leaders, the Blueprint features a menu of 10 critical policies that promote college readiness and success. The 50-state analysis explores the extent to which states are meeting these benchmarks. The accompanying resources, technical assistance and online database are designed to respond to the unique needs of states. (Read the Blueprint Report, see the database.)

Rating Schools – How are states measuring their schools? With funding from the Walton Family Foundation, ECS in January launched a 50-state database showing the measures states use to hold their schools accountable. In addition to the database, ECS has assembled an advisory group to review the metrics used and will publish an issue brief that includes exemplars for states policymakers to consider.

Innovations in School Finance – General Electric supports an ongoing series of papers, six per year, that delve into complex topics and explain them in everyday terms. Mike Griffith, ECS’ school finance expert, is a popular author and his latest work, What State Policymakers Need to Know about Funding Virtual Charter Schools, was released Feb. 18.

Early Learning – A grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts supports our work in early education, including recent reports that compare pre-K funding levels in the 50 states as well as an annual compilation of P-3 legislative changes across the nation.

Information hotline

We respond to requests for information within 24 hours.
Contact: Emily Workman, Information Clearinghouse Manager

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2014 annual report

Download the 2014 ECS Annual Report

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

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