P-16/P-20 Councils: Policy Changes Brought About by P-16/P-20 Coordinating Body
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P-16/P-20 Councils: Policy Changes Brought About by P-16/P-20 Coordinating Body

This database indicates where a P-16/P-20 council's recommendations, active support or other efforts as a group (rather than by individual council members independent of a council subcommittee or the council as a whole) provided the foundation for changes in legislation, state board rules or other major shifts in education practice (i.e., development and implementation of a longitudinal data system). While the diversity of activity across the states defies easy categorization, it can be said that councils most frequently have influenced or brought about policy changes related to teaching quality, alignment of high school and postsecondary standards and assessments, and rigor of the high school curriculum/graduation requirements.

Why does it matter?

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

Methodology: ECS performed an initial search of statutes, regulations and executive orders. However, because many P-16 and P-20 councils are established independently of these means, ECS conducted interviews with and had all data verified by at least one contact in the state (typically a P-16 or P-20 council member or staff member supporting the council).

Last update: May 28, 2008

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.

Policy changes brought about by P-16/P-20 coordinating body

Governor and the P-20 Council have been the impetus for planning and implementing significant policy changes in the state’s education system and continue this work today. A number of accomplishments, to date, are listed below:

Education Alignment & Assessment:

  • Recommended that the Arizona State Board of Education (SBE) increase high school graduation requirements from two years of mathematics to four, and two years of science to three. The recommendation included increasing the level of mathematics rigor to a level better aligned with college and work readiness. In response, the SBE not only increased the required number of mathematics credits, but also the level of mathematics rigor. Previously, Arizona high school students were required to reach the level of Geometry; under the new requirements, all Arizona high school students will be required to reach the level of Algebra II. The P-20 Council worked with the SBE to bring this recommendation into policy.
  • Provided specific recommendations for the increased rigor of the mathematics standard, which included developing language for 11th-12th grades and a bridge to college level work. This language was entirely new. The P-20 Council is working now to bring recommendations to align Arizona’s English Language Arts standard.
  • Is working to implement the Algebra II End of Course assessment by May 2008.


  • As a result of the recommendations made in the Teachers Subcommittee's 2007 report, “Strengthening Teacher Quality and Support: Next Steps for Arizona, Governor Napolitano included teacher pay raises – $100 million and $46 million, respectively – in her 2006 and 2007 budgets.
  • Governor Napolitano’s FY 2008 budget included $4.75 million in grants for STEM teachers and related activities. The State Board of Education received $2.5 million to promote improved pupil achievement in math or science by providing supplemental funding for innovative programs. The Arizona Board of Regents received $2.25 million for scholarships to attract, graduate and retain more teachers in math, science and special education disciplines.
  • The Governor will build and fund a new, centrally located STEM Center that will improve and align STEM education in Arizona to ensure that all Arizona students are prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century. The STEM Center will provide the innovative programs, research, training, and communications that will assist the State in its current STEM education and teaching reform efforts.

Education and Workforce Pathways

  • Recommended that the Arizona Department of Education and the State Board of Education (SBE) implement personalized graduation plans. SBE adopted Education and Career Action Plans (ECAP) language into rule in February 2008. An ECAP will be required beginning with the entering freshmen of 2009.
  • Working to enhance the academic content within Career and Technical Education programs of study, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education. It is expected that the CTE and mathematics standards will be cross-walked in spring 2008.


  • Providing scholarships to teachers ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 for teachers to attain the state Reading Endorsement.
  • Created and distributed literacy toolkits for Arizona 4th, 5th and 6th grade teachers through the support of a National Governors Association Grant (2008).
  • Hosted three regional Adolescent Literacy Forums through the support of a National Governors Association Grant (2007).
  • Worked with the Alliance for Excellence in Education in the preparation and presentation of the report, “Improving Adolescent Literacy in Arizona,” (2005) which is the baseline for the work being done by the Literacy Committee.

Higher Education

  • The legislature created an early college scholarship program that provides grants for students graduating early to attend a postsecondary institution (2007).
  • Tripled state’s contribution to student financial aid and developed a scholarship program for private postsecondary students.


  • Will launch a public awareness campaign in spring 2008. This effort includes major foundations, agencies and interests in a coordinated campaign to raise awareness of the importance of increased educational alignment and attainment to make Arizona more globally competitive.

P-20 Council Related Legislation:
S.B. 1512 (signed by governor into law, 2006) provides $2.5 million additional funding for the Arizona Department of Education to continue development of Arizona’s data system.

S.B. 1045 (signed by governor into law, 2006) requires integration of K-12 student identifier numbers at public universities and community colleges.

H.B. 2206 (bill stalled but included in final budget, 2007) a $2.25 million teacher student loan program was created to encourage more teachers to enter into the mathematics, science and special education teaching fields.

S.B. 1069 (signed by Governor into Law, 2007) established the early graduation scholarship program, which is designed to provide an incentive (financial aid of up to $2,000) for students to graduate early from high school and promptly move into a postsecondary education experience.

Arkansas The state board approved policies to better align K-12 literacy and mathematics standards with postsecondary entrance expectations based on recommendations provided by the Commission for Coordination of Educational Efforts.

The commission's 2007 annual report sets forth recommendations for legislative and rulemaking activity to ensure the quality of dual enrollment courses, including instructor credentials; improve the qualifications of teachers in and increase resources for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subject areas; improve teacher recruitment and retention; and on other areas, including experiential learning, teacher quality and licensure, and length of the school year.
California No policy changes have been enacted to date. However, legislation introduced in 2008 reflects recommendations issued by the P-16 council. All language below reflects bill text as of March 19, 2008

A.B. 2759 expresses legislative intent to consolidate and streamline education programs serving children ages 3-5.

S.B. 1629 expresses legislative intent to establish a commission to create an early learning quality improvement system.

A.B. 100 expresses legislative intent to enact a Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2008, to become operative only if approved by the voters at the November 2008 statewide general election.

A.B. 2391 allows elementary and secondary teachers in districts receiving incentive funding through the Mathematics and Reading Professional Development Program to fulfill up to 40 of the 80 hours of required professional development in such areas as data analysis, alignment of assessment and instruction, implication of data analysis and its effect on increasing pupil achievement, impact on pupil success through diagnostic teaching, differentiating instruction through pacing and complexity, grouping as an aid to instruction, and statewide and local data management systems.

In addition, state efforts outside legislation will augment California's data system (CALPADS), to create a statewide student unit records database linking early learning records through K-12 through postsecondary. The enhanced data system will also house teacher assignment data allow teachers access to information to develop interventions for individual students. Recommendations issued by the P-16 council have informed development of this aligned data system.
Colorado Recommendations issued by the council in 2007 have been written into the 2008 legislation below.

H.B. 1364: Establishes the Data Protocol Development Council to design and implement a protocol for the collection, storage and sharing of unit records among various state agencies. Also provides for the assignment of a unique student identifier to children enrolled in state- or federally-subsidized early childhood education services. (Signed into law May 14, 2008.)

H.B. 1370: Establishes the School Counselor Corps Grant Program to provide districts with grants to improve access to quality counseling in high schools, with the goal of increasing the number of students who
complete high school and who are prepared for, apply to and enter postsecondary education. Provides grant funds may be used to hire additional counselors, provide professional development to counselors and other staff, and offer other services to improve high school counseling. (Signed into law May 27, 2008.)

H.B. 1388: Amends the Public School Finance Act of 1994 to make various provisions, including increased funding for the Colorado Preschool Program and increased funding of full-day kindergarten, as recommended by the P-20 council's P-3 committee. (Signed into law May 22, 2008.)

S.B. 65
: Establishes the "Alternative Teacher Compensation Plan Act." Establishes a competitive grant program to provide funding to districts to support development and implementation of a district-designed alternative teacher compensation plan. (Postponed in house appropriations committee.)

S.B. 212: Establishes the "Preschool to Postsecondary Education Alignment Act." Makes numerous provisions related to school readiness and P-12 alignment of curricula, standards and assessments to ensure students' postsecondary and workforce readiness by the end of grade 12, and review of postsecondary admissions standards and placement tests to ensure alignment with the state postsecondary and workforce readiness definition. Provides for admission and placement of students demonstrating postsecondary readiness in credit-bearing courses in public postsecondary institutions.

Requires the chief state school officer and state higher education executive officer to convene regional P-20 meetings at least annually with specified early learning, K-12 and postsecondary stakeholders to help implement school readiness and alignment of curricula, standards and assessments to ensure students' postsecondary and workforce readiness. (Signed into law May 14, 2008.)

Connecticut None as of April 2008
Delaware The revised high school graduation requirements approved by the state board of education in August 2006 were a direct result of recommendations proposed by the graduation requirements subcommmittee.

K-12 student databases can now connect to higher education databases, thanks to the work of the data subcommittee.

The dual credit committee's work is ongoing, but change has not yet taken place. Higher education officials are now working together to establish a common matrix of courses that are offered and that are recognized for postsecondary credit (i.e., English 101 taken at Institution A is recognized for English credit at Institution B).

Georgia None to date
Hawaii No policy changes have been enacted to date. However, 2007 S.B. 688 directs the P-20 council to "develop and initiate plans for education in Hawaii in the twenty-first century" and appropriates funds toward this end for FY07-08 and FY08-09.

In addition, because of the state's participation in the American Diploma Project, the council may lobby the Hawaii Board of Education for policy changes.
Illinois None to date (effective date of legislation creating P-20 council is July 1, 2008)

Indiana’s Education Roundtable is charged with ensuring the state has world-class academic standards for student learning. The Roundtable led the comprehensive work to adopt new expectations for English/language arts, mathematics and science in 2000 and social studies in 2001 that ranked the state’s standards among the very best. The Roundtable continues to maintain this high quality through an on-going cycle of rigorous review and benchmarking. Updated standards for English/language arts were adopted in 2006, Social Studies in 2007 with mathematics scheduled for 2008 and science 2009.

The Roundtable completed work in April 2008 on the state’s Core Standards – to explicitly highlight the "big ideas" all students must understand at the end of each grade-level and content area and to connect key concepts across the K-12 curriculum – giving proper weight to the essential skills students need to advance.

The Roundtable has the ongoing responsibility for setting passing scores for the state’s assessments to measure student achievement against the standards.

Many of the "Next Steps" called for in the P-16 Plan for Improving Student Achievement have been realized through the work of the Education Roundtable. Acting on recommendations called for by the Education Roundtable,

The state has put policies in place to ensure all students are prepared for college and workforce success:

  • Indiana’s requirements for high school graduation have been aligned with the demands of college and work.
  • The state’s differentiated diploma requirements have been externally benchmarked and are now among the best in the nation.
  • Indiana Core 40 has become the default high school course and credit requirement for all students (effective Class of 2011).
  • Core 40 End-of-Course Assessments have been developed and implemented to focus on quality and consistency of Core 40 courses.
  • Core 40 completion is now the minimum college admissions requirement for the state’s 4-year universities (effective fall 2011).

Significant state high school dropout policies have been enacted, including:

  • Prevention policies – new dropout age, revoking driver’s licenses and work permits, early warning sign information via the Annual School Performance Report.
  • Intervention policies – School Flex to provide more options for students to stay in school and additional alternatives to dropping out, Double Up and PL 185 to provide more opportunities for students to see themselves as college materials and to get a jump start on college.
  • Recovery policies – Fast Track to provide more incentives and greater options for students who already made the mistake of dropping out of high school to get back on track to learning.

In addition, in response for Roundtable recommendations for increased early learning, Governor Daniels pushed for and was successful at moving state policies and funding to provide full-day Kindergarten.

Kansas None to date (executive order issued March 2008)
Kentucky Most of the following information is quoted from the Council on Postsecondary Education Web site

P-20 Data System: The P-16 council endorsed the creation of a P-20 data system. While the development of the data system is in progress as of April 2008, inclusion of individual student identifiers in all high school transcripts has been completed.

Teaching Quality/Math and Science/Middle Grades: The P-16 council endorsed large-scale projects to improve mathematics and science teaching in the middle schools.

High School Student Attitudes: The P-16 council endorsed a large-scale statewide survey of high school age youth about their attitudes toward postsecondary education.

High School/Postsecondary Alignment and Transitions: The P-16 council sponsored Kentucky's participation in the American Diploma Project (ADP) to help align high school graduation standards with specified postsecondary and employment needs. ADP participation led to the establishment of a statewide postsecondary placement policy, revision of high school graduation requirements and accountability assessments, and revision of adult education curricula.

The council promoted the development of the Kentucky Early Mathematics Testing Program, which provides diagnostic testing to high school students to help them identify academic deficiencies that they should correct before entering college.

The P-16 council also sponsored a $20+ million statewide GEAR UP grant to prepare economically disadvantaged middle school students for college.

In addition, the P-16 council sponsored statewide teams of P-12 teachers and postsecondary faculty in mathematics and literacy who recommended consistent expectations for student learning to reduce the need for postsecondary remediation.

Teaching Quality: The P-16 council promoted funding proposals for innovative approaches to teacher education and endorsed statewide symposia of chief academic officers and deans of arts and sciences and education to improve the preparation and teaching effectiveness of P-12 teachers.

Distance Learning and Teaching Quality: The P-16 council coordinated involvement of the Kentucky Virtual University in projects to extend the access of education to students of all ages and to expand professional development opportunities for teachers.
Louisiana Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence: The redesign of all teacher preparation and educational leadership preparation programs at all public and private universities is a direct result of the recommendations of this commission.

As a result of the commission's recommendations, the state's teacher certification structure has changed. The state formerly offered a 1-8 and high school certification; this has been replaced with certifications for grades PK-3, 4-5, and 6-12.

The commission was also instrumental in the development of three new pathways for individuals to become certified as teachers through an alternative certification process. The Blue Ribbon commission issued recommendations which were subsequently developed into policy by the board for elementary and secondary education and the board of regents.

High School Redesign Commission: The rigorous Louisiana Core 4 Curriculum was approved by the state board (BESE) in 2007 as the default high school curriculum, beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2008-2009 school year (Class of 2012). This more challenging curriculum was approved based on recommendations made by the commission.

The BESE decision to award grant funds to support 54 Grade 9 Academies beginning in the 2007-2008 school year was based on the commission's recommendation.

A commission recommendation informed the BESE's 2007 decision to incorporate a "graduation index" into high school accountability systems. Schools are awarded additional points for each student who complete college-level coursework (dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate) or who earns a high school diploma with an academic endorsement or career concentration.

Commission recommendations informed various BESE's 2007 policy changes regarding remediation and credit recovery. Revised policies allow students in danger of failing due to excessive absences to make up missed time in class sessions held outside the regular class time, and permit students who have failed a course to take a proficiency exam for that course. A 2007 BESE policy change also added a new section to state regulations, allowing districts to implement credit recovery programs for students who have failed a course.

The state board action in 2006-2007 to begin implementing end-of-course assessments in a variety of disciplines was also influenced by the commission's recommendation.

As a result of the commission's recommendations, the state is (as of May 2008) contracting with a public relations firm, and will be launching Web site that will provide user-friendly access to information about high school redesign in the state.

Maine None to date. However, the April 2008 executive order establishing the council requires the council to submit a report to the governor by January 1, 2009, that includes recommendations and "any legislation necessary to implement recommendations."
Maryland None to date
Minnesota The council was involved in the state board of education's rulemaking on the integration of college-ready English language arts and mathematics expectations in the state high school English and math standards.
Missouri None to date
Montana Supporting the Board of Education’s policy initiatives, as articulated by the Governor’s homework assignments, the state legislature passed 2007 S.B. 2, which provides for:
  • The offering of full-day kindergarten, including additional funds to support start-up costs
  • A speech pathology program
  • Funds for the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind to hire four additional outreach consultants to provide additional birth-5 services in the state
  • Funds for American Indian Achievement Gap specialists and six curriculum specialists to assist schools in closing the Native/non-Native student performance gap
  • Funds to support gifted and talented programs
  • The expansion of adult education services
  • Tuition cap for zero percent increase for two years
  • A measure to continue to build a P-16 student data system
  • More funding for the Governor's Postsecondary Scholarship
  • The creation of the Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program, which repays the postsecondary loans of individuals who serve as teachers in shortage areas in the state.
Nebraska The council actively supported passage of 2006 L.B. 239, which authorizes in-state tuition for certain qualified undocumented Nebraska high school graduates. (Bill passed, and legislature overrode governor's veto.)

While 2006 L.B. 1023, which would have created a Civics Nebraska Partnership Council, did not pass, the state board established a similar council, the Civics Nebraska Partnership Advisory Council at the request of Nebraska P-16.
Nevada None to date
New Hampshire None to date
North Carolina With support from the education cabinet, the University of North Carolina (UNC) system has revised their teacher education programs to meet the need for an increased supply of special education, science and mathematics teachers in the state. In addition, the master's of educational administration program has been revised through a 2005 budgetary item and the education cabinet's involvement.

The state board of education has revised the state K-12 standards to bring them into alignment with the 21st Century Skills standards.

The education cabinet advocated for the eventual codification of the Learn and Earn early college high school program, and has been active in the development and implementation of Learn and Earn Online and Earn grants.
Ohio The partnership for continued learning was very active in supporting the legislation establishing more challenging graduation requirements, the Ohio Core. The legislation was enacted in 2006.
Oklahoma The ACE Steering Committee has issued recommendations that have informed legislation and agency rulemaking on such areas as cut scores on state assessments, as well as the depth of knowledge students must demonstrate; and alternate tests for high school graduation for students who do not pass the end-of-instruction tests required for high school graduation effective with the Class of 2012.

S.B. 1769, which relates to ACE policy, is in the Oklahoma State Legislature for review as of early May 2008. The end of the legislative session is May 23, 2008.

Oregon As a result of the joint boards' efforts, Oregon has adopted changes for common awarding of postsecondary credit in Oregon University System and community colleges for Advanced Placement exam scores.

As of April 2008, the joint boards are working on various issues that will culminate in policy regarding dual credit to provide early high school options for college credit, alignment of standards and assessments, and other areas.
Pennsylvania STEM: None to date due to the recent formation. The Governor’s Leadership Team is charged with coordinating high level policy as it pertains to the nexus between STEM literacy, economic growth and workforce development
PASSHE Regional Councils: The regional councils impact policy in multiple ways, including policies of local districts and institutions of higher education. One example is the Slippery Rock Council that has expanded the concept of the PK-16 partnership to create professional development schools that increase and deepen the field experiences for pre-service students and provides an opportunity in-service teachers to have continued professional development from the university.
Rhode Island The council was involved in the alignment of high school standards in English language arts (reading and writing), mathematics and science with entry-level postsecondary and workplace expectations. In addition, higher education faculty weighed in on the grades 9-12 grade span expectations (GSEs) in reading, writing and mathematics expectations. These GSEs were formally adopted by the state board of regents after input from the higher education community.

The state has launched a number of mathematics and science initiatives through the support of the Statewide PK-16 council. Further details about these initiatives are available on the governor's Web site.

The council's focus on teacher and leadership quality has led to the state department of education's revision of the teacher certification standards.
South Carolina The council's 2007 report notes numerous efforts either completed or in progress to address the assignments set out in the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA), Title 59 of the South Carolina Code.

Among the completed assignments are:
  • Revision of the department of education's guidance and counseling model to provide districts with standards and strategies to use as they develop and implement a comprehensive guidance and counseling program in grades P-12.
  • Integration of the department's school guidance and counseling program model, including career awareness and exploration activities, in the grade 1-5 curriculum.
  • The state board's 2007 adoption of 43 S.C. CODE ANN. REGS. 274.1, which establishes indicators, predictors and barriers for high schools to use in identifying at-risk students, requires every high school to implement one or more model programs for at-risk students by the 2007-2008 school year, and requires all high schools to evaluate their dropout prevention programs using specified criteria.
  • The commission on higher education's 2007 approval of a statewide International Baccalaureate (IB) credit acceptance policy.
  • Department development of a template for an individual graduation plan that meets specifications set forth in legislation.

South Dakota None to date
Tennessee The P-16 council was active in the revision of high school graduation requirements in the state. More details are available in a document from the January 2008 state board of education meeting.

The council has played a role in K-12 and high school curriculum changes. The Math Curriculum Alignment Committee brought together secondary and postsecondary math and education professionals to align closely the content standards and performance expectations for secondary math courses and college entrance expectations. The resulting detailed analysis was provided to the Tennessee Diploma Project to assist and inform the revision of K-12 math standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project (TDP). Curriculum standards for K-12 mathematics and English language arts have been revised to prepare students for challenging high school coursework leading to success in college and careers.
Texas The higher education coordinating board adopted rules in 2006 for the implementation of the P-16 College Readiness and Success Strategic Action Plan. These rules were informed by recommendations issued by the P-16 council.
Utah No information available as of May 2008.
Virginia No policy changes have been enacted to date. However, the council is working to compare the alignment of the Standards of Learning (SOL) against existing nationally validated college-readiness standards. An Alignment Team is in the process of comparing the SOL against ADP benchmarks. Once the alignment studies are complete, the council will issue recommendations to the state board to include in the scheduled review of the math SOL beginning in 2008 and English/language arts and science SOL beginning in 2009.
Washington None to date
West Virginia West Virginia was the second state to join the 21st Century Skills Initiative, resulting in numerous K-12 curricular reforms. The Cabinet influenced the state's decision to implement the 21st Century Skills initiatives, and provides operational support across all parts of the system for the project's implementation.

In 2007, the 21st Century Jobs Cabinet developed and implemented the SEEDS (Student Educational and Economic Development Success) Program, a pilot program teaming a principal of a struggling school with a business leader and a master educator to help turn the low-performing school around.

The cabinet pushed for the 2007 legislation that provides an annual salary bonus of $3,500 to teachers certified by the National Board of Professional Standards, for up to 10 years.

The West Virginia Workforce Advisory Council was developed with the cabinet's support.
Wisconsin When the legislature was considering cutting back the Youth Options dual enrollment program, the council undertook research to determine whether problems with the program were isolated to one or two districts or were statewide. Based on the findings of this research, the council successfully endorsed continuation of the program.
Wyoming As a result of the council's efforts to align the biology curriculum across grades 9-14, the state has established an ACT math score as a requisite score for students to enter freshman Biology for Majors course.

In addition, the state has made substantial progress toward the full implementation of the Wyoming Transcript Center (tracking students and their coursetaking K-16), owing to the involvement of council members in decisionmaking related to implementation of the data system.

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