Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna became President of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) this morning at the 2011 Annual Policy Forum in Phoenix.
“It is an honor to be elected by my peers to serve in this leadership role,” Superintendent Luna said. “As state chiefs, we must identify the problems we face, find the solutions to these problems, and define the federal government’s role, if any, in helping us solve these problems.”
CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization that represents the superintendents, secretaries and commissioners of state education agencies. CCSSO leads and facilitates collective state action to transform our public education system in the strategic areas of Educator Workforce; Information Systems; and Standards, Assessment, and Accountability.
Superintendent Luna praised CCSSO and Past President Chris Koch of Illinois for the accomplishments made over the past year, including the development of Common Core State Standards, the next generation of assessments, and principles for increased accountability systems.
In his opening address as President, Superintendent Luna challenged the members of CCSSO to address the challenge states now face in preparing teachers for the 21st century.
“We know the most important factor in a student’s academic success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Still, the fact is we are spending too much money every year training teachers on the skills they should have learned while in college. This is not the fault of the pre-service student or the teacher in the classroom. This is the result of antiquated teacher preparation programs and outdated certification processes,” Superintendent Luna said. “Collectively, we as state chiefs must address teacher quality and preparation across the country before our teachers get into the classroom and begin teaching our students.”
The CCSSO Board of Directors will work with states and organizations to address this issue in the coming year.