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Kentucky Chief Holliday Is New CCSSO President; Will Focus on Career Readiness

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday will be the new president of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Holliday had served as the organization's president-elect over the past year, and has been Kentucky's top K-12 official since 2009.

Although his claim to the top spot at the organization was obviously pre-ordained, it's appropriate that Holliday, a very public supporter of the Common Core State Standards in the first state to adopt them, is taking over as president of the group that (along with the National Governors Association) oversaw the development of the standards, in a year that will be crucial to the success or failure of the common core in states.

Kentucky was also the first state to administer assessments explicitly aligned to the standards about 14 months ago, and to deal with the fallout and public relations campaign associated with the new, significantly lower proficiency scores on those tests. So Holliday hasn't just been pushing the standards' implementation in schools—he's been involved with educating parents and other members of the broader community about the standards. He said he plans to focus on "career readiness" during his tenure as CCSSO president. 

"I am proud and very humbled to serve this outstanding organization," Holliday said in a statement released by the Kentucky education department. "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."

When I heard Holliday speak at CCSSO's annual policy conference last month, he expressed concern about lagging school budgets, although he didn't think those fiscal issues would impact common-core implementation, at least in his state. But we'll get to see over the next year to what extent K-12 finances, as well as other policy and political developments, affect the progress of the standards around the country. 

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