Where We’ve Worked

National Conference of State Legislatures

In 2014, NCEE partnered with the National Conference of State Legislatures to manage and organize the work of a study group of state legislators from across the country investigating top-performing education systems around the world. Over two years, NCEE supported the study group in their work to understand the successful practices of the world’s top-performing education systems in order to develop a new, state-driven education agenda.

The end result of that initial work was the landmark report, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State. The report provides state policy makers with the tools and strategies to begin the work of building a high-performing education system in their own state.

NCEE’s partnership with NCSL is ongoing, as it continues to support the study group’s international benchmarking research trips and policy symposia.

MD Research Meeting


In late 2016, the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education engaged NCEE to assist in its work to revamp the state’s education finance system and to ensure that future Maryland public school graduates can compete in the workforce and the global economy.

In partnership with the Commission and its staff, NCEE conducted an expansive gap analysis comparing the state to global top performers and high-performing U.S. states. This analysis, along with insights from NCEE’s network of subject-matter experts, has driven the Commission’s work across the various policy areas encompassed by the 9 Building Blocks.

NCEE is assisting the Commission in producing a report based on this work to the Maryland General Assembly and the Governor’s office with policy recommendations in early 2018.


Kentucky Rising was a joint effort of the Kentucky Department of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Education Professional Standards Board, in partnership with entities from economic development, workforce development, the Chamber of Commerce, and a host of businesses and industries, to leverage systemic education reform to improve Kentucky’s workforce, increase its global competitiveness, and improve its economy.

In late 2014, the heads of the three Kentucky education agencies engaged NCEE to begin planning for Kentucky Rising. Through the collaborative efforts of the three agencies, the work of Kentucky Rising began with an analysis based on the 9 Building Blocks to assess where Kentucky systems stand compared to the top-performing international and national jurisdictions.

As a result of this partnership, more than 40 districts engaged with NISL on its advanced credentialing system funded by a U.S. Department of Education SEED grant and nearly 50 superintendents are currently enrolled in the NISL Superintendents Academy, an ongoing partnership with the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.


NCEE is working with Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics to conduct a gap analysis to examine how the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s education system compares with state and international top performers. The goal of this project is to use this information to inform policies that help propel the state toward world-class performance.

When the gap analysis is complete, key stakeholders in Pennsylvania, convened by the Center on Regional Politics, will identify priority areas for work based on the gap analysis findings. To do this work, Temple’s Center is working to assemble a steering group of key education officials and leaders in the state to guide the work.

The results of this work will then be presented to a broader group of Pennsylvania stakeholders from the business community, higher education, unions, policy organizations and other education leaders who will help set priorities and be partners in developing and implementing a strategic plan based on those priorities. The William Penn Foundation in Pennsylvania is funding this work.

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