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Beliefs & Operating Principles


ABEC will work to find common ground on key statewide issues that affect student achievement and workforce development and will influence others based on that consensus, promoting the relationship between strong schools and strong economic development.

To this end, ABEC members will commit to learning from each other through respectful dialogue, finding common ground and taking bold action based on that consensus.


ABEC’s work and processes will reflect the quality of its leadership and participants. Positions will be credible, fact based, thoughtful and designed to provide measurable outcomes. Participation will represent decision makers and, when appropriate, minority opinion will be recognized when consensus cannot be reached.

To this end, we will invest the time and effort it takes to reach consensus, if possible. We are committed to open and honest dialogue, active participation, listening, and a respectful demeanor. We insist on research to support our positions and avoid unsubstantiated opinions. We will commit to the focus of the group, rather than getting side-tracked.  If results are not good enough to get or stay in the game, we will agree to disagree. When consensus is not achievable we will recognize the validity of minority opinions.


Based on the values of mutual respect, honesty and truthfulness, ABEC is committed to working in a non-partisan, collaborative way to find common ground on K-12 education policy. ABEC staff and members will articulate the ABEC consensus positions to appropriate stakeholders, and take action, consistent with the agreements made at the table.

To this end, we will actively participate in ABEC discussions, probe for understanding, be open to compromise, respect diverse opinions, always seeking to find common ground. Work and action outside the ABEC meeting will be consistent with ABEC consensus.


The success of ABEC’s work depends on responsible membership. Members will be fiscally responsible to the organization and will attend meetings and events prepared to actively participate. Each member organization will assure that the right decision maker is involved. Each representative is responsible for expressing member views and opinion and for disseminating ABEC decisions and opinion to their organizations. Differing points of view will be expressed, based on fact, as well as opinion.

To this end, we will pay dues on time and assist in keeping ABEC sustained. We will prepare for meetings, provide input and feedback as requested, and answer emails and other requests for information in a timely fashion. We will be actively involved, practice active listening, and strive for common ground. We will be straightforward.  We will keep ourselves educated and informed, and probe for understanding.  We will prioritize and follow through so we can make an impact. We will accept ownership for our actions and hold each other accountable. We will be responsible for taking the ABEC message back to our constituencies and outside ABEC.


ABEC members are committed to the organizational standard of mutual respect and collaboration and will work together toward a comprehensive view of the common good for students and their achievement. Communication will be trustworthy and based on complete information.

To this end, we seek areas for agreement, listen with empathy, and reveal our own assumptions. We feel safe in the ABEC conversation and provide confidentiality to fellow members. We are clear about agendas from member organizations and disclose conflicts of interest. We will understand and advocate for the group’s decisions.


The ABEC environment for dialogue will be free of hidden agendas and supportive of all participants. All relevant issues will be put on the table in a trusting atmosphere. Meeting norms will be developed and followed.

To this end, ABEC members will reveal assumptions, actively listen to all views in a respectful, safe atmosphere, share information from other groups that may affect processes or strategies, and openly express agreements and sticking points.

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