Prominent Education Chiefs Take Strong Stand on Need for High-Quality Curriculum

Chiefs for Change
June 6, 2018

Chiefs for Change, a national network of some of the nation’s boldest, most innovative state and district education Chiefs, today announced that expanding access to high-quality curricula and related professional learning will be one of the group’s top advocacy priorities.

The membership released a statement saying, “The morass of rules and regulations governing educational materials does not support students and teachers—it helps textbook giants boost profits.” Citing problems such as long procurement cycles, antiquated RFP requirements, and bid processes that disadvantage non-profit curriculum developers who create high-quality open educational resources, the Chiefs call “for an end to harmful and outdated laws that prevent access to excellent instructional resources.” They outline specific steps that textbook companies, leaders in higher education, and policymakers should take to address these problems, and are launching an advocacy campaign to fight for these changes.

“We have a collective responsibility to ensure educators have access to the highest-quality curriculum and the training to teach it well. This issue gets to the heart of educational equity and excellence, and it’s imperative that we get it right for all kids,” said John White, Chiefs for Change Board Chair and Louisiana State Superintendent of Education.

Today’s announcement follows publication of a Chiefs for Change report on leveraging curriculum to support student learning. The report notes that “a relatively nascent but powerful body of research suggests that content-rich, standards-aligned, and high-quality curricula exert a powerful influence on student achievement.” It goes on to say “there is also early evidence that switching to a high-quality curriculum may be a more cost-effective way to raise student achievement than several other school-level interventions.”

“If we want to ensure that all students—regardless of their background—get what they need to be successful, we must give them rigorous, engaging content in school,” said Sonja Santelises, Chiefs for Change member and CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. “I’m proud to join other equity-minded Chiefs in speaking out on this critical issue that is all too often overlooked.”

Groups and individuals interested in partnering with Chiefs for Change to support these efforts should please contact Director of Advocacy and Policy Margie Yeager at

About Chiefs for Change
Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education Chiefs dedicated to preparing all students for today’s world and tomorrow’s through deeply committed leadership. Chiefs for Change advocates for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students, and builds a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems.