Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)



Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $25,365,455
Expenses: $23,998,403
Assets: $27,743,057


Education Policy Advocacy




Carissa Miller

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Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is an educational policy advocacy group composed of school administrators and principals. It was one of the primary driving forces behind the push for implementation of the Common Core educational standards. CCSSO publishes online resources, holds more than eighty annual conferences, and runs education study programs, such as the Innovation Lab Network, that seek to improve student outcomes. 1

In 1954, CCSSO cofounded the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which evaluated teacher fitness and issued credentials. This group later merged with the Teacher Accreditation Council to form a single body, the Council of Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 2

Common Core Advocacy

In 1984, Council of Chief State School Officers was at the forefront of endorsing the publishing of standardized testing data as a way of evaluating school performance on a state-by-state basis. At that time, the New York Times pointed out that critics were afraid that “systematic national testing could represent, in effect, the establishment of a ‘national curriculum’ that would undermine local and state control of public schools.” 3

In 2009, CCSSO collaborated with the National Governors Association to form working groups that would develop the Common Core state standards in math, history and social studies, and science. The standards were immediately controversial, and parents were warned to brace for a drop in student performance and test scores. 4 In a 2014 story in The Atlantic about plans to implement more difficult standardized tests, former CCSSO executive director Chris Minnich said that “Students who were being told that they were on track are now going to be told, ‘You’re not quite there.’” 5

The mathematics standards of Common Core faced criticism for teaching students to solve simple problems using overly complex procedures. The English and literature standards would also come under fire for its under-emphasis of classical literature and a failure to effectively teach students style and genre concepts. 6 7

Every Student Succeeds Act

In November 2017, Council of Chief State School Officers published a document examining the implications of evaluating school systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act, a school and student evaluation law designed to replace the similar No Child Left Behind Act. 8

Part of the legislation requires each state to evaluate and rank order the performance of its schools every three years. The legislation requires states to then identify weaker schools and categorize them as needing “Comprehensive Support and Improvement,” “Targeted Support and Improvement,” or “Additional Support and Improvement.” Although the metrics used to rank the schools are at the state’s discretion, CCSSO clarified that the state is legally required to identify the lowest-performing five percent of schools and enroll them in the Comprehensive Support and Improvement program. The document noted that there was widespread confusion among local state agencies about these requirements. 9

Data Quality Campaign

In 2006, Council of Chief State School Officers cofounded the Data Quality Campaign project, designed to streamline educational data collection and organization, and then implemented this streamlined system across the country by the year 2009. The project tracks longitudinal student and educator data year-by-year, providing an overview of student progress or regress, and purportedly using that data to measure educator and school system effectiveness.  This project receives support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is overseen by the National Center for Educational Accountability. 10

Leading for Equity

In February 2017, Council of Chief State School Officers and the Aspen Education and Society Program published “Leading for Equity,” a position paper discussing diversity and success rates across different socio-economic groups in education. The document states that equity of outcome is a real measure of equity, not just “creating equal conditions for all students.” The document then highlights 10 overarching strategies that can be used by school chiefs to produce more equal outcomes across groups. It advises leaders to talk about race openly, and states that staff members must explore their own unconscious biases. It also suggests setting equity-related goals, and restructuring to improve staff diversity, and to “prioritize equity.” 11


Carissa Moffat Miller is CEO of the Council of Chief State School Officers. She is also the former deputy superintendent of the Idaho State Department of Education and spearheaded the statewide online testing project for the Idaho State Board of Education. Miller is also a member of the national advisory panel of the COVID Collaborative, a consortium dealing with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 12


  1. “Innovation Lab Network.” CCSSO. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  2. “History.” CAEP. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  3. Fiske, Edward B. “National System to Test Schools is Endorsed.” New York Times. November 14, 1984. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  4. Dillon, Sam. “States Receive a Reading List: New Standards for Education.” New York Times. June 2, 2010. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  5.  Zinshteyn, Mikhail. “Should the U.S. Make Standardized Tests Harder?” The Atlantic. November 20, 2014. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  6.  Strauss, Valerie. “The Seven Deadly Sins of Common Core by an English Teacher.” Washington Post. August 16, 2021. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  7. Why Parents Struggle with Common Core Math: ‘The Diagrams are Absolutely Insane.’” San Jose Mercury News. June 17, 2018. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  8. “Every Student Succeeds Act.” Accessed December 19, 2022.
  9. Lyons, Susan et al. “State Systems of Identification and Support Under ESSA.” CCSSO. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  10. Data Quality Campaign. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  11.  “Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs.” The Aspen Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Accessed December 19, 2022.
  12. “Carissa Moffat Miller.” COVID Collaborative. Accessed December 19, 2022.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1949

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jun Form 990 $25,365,455 $23,998,403 $27,743,057 $11,825,715 N $0 $24,992,371 $117,106 $1,002,530 PDF
    2019 Jun Form 990 $45,280,580 $44,264,907 $23,710,879 $9,659,540 N $0 $44,786,140 $148,201 $1,000,826 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $40,388,232 $39,900,222 $44,625,972 $32,614,678 N $0 $40,211,912 $176,320 $1,211,245 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $39,066,633 $38,685,907 $35,711,376 $25,162,568 N $0 $38,946,074 $120,559 $1,271,733
    2016 Jun Form 990 $36,516,165 $35,603,362 $32,867,235 $23,243,539 N $0 $36,603,217 $118,181 $449,014 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $34,669,302 $33,644,111 $27,186,533 $18,729,533 N $0 $34,430,615 $94,824 $425,315 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $38,332,948 $37,745,863 $26,119,491 $18,772,628 N $0 $38,169,525 $75,953 $380,866 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $27,484,799 $27,694,296 $20,233,727 $14,113,426 N $0 $27,215,138 $60,316 $403,185 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $26,223,762 $25,965,250 $16,817,776 $10,867,915 N $0 $26,108,443 $60,600 $432,705 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $26,040,875 $25,634,725 $18,221,456 $12,746,983 N $0 $25,962,652 $68,599 $455,418 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

    Washington, DC