Matthew L. Blomstedt, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education
Dr. Matthew L. Blomstedt is the Nebraska Commissioner of Education and was appointed by the Nebraska State Board of Education on January 2, 2014.
A native Nebraskan, Commissioner Blomstedt’s priorities focus on local, regional, statewide, and national education issues. His experience includes education policy, education finance and organization, assessment and accountability, professional development, and the design and implementation of systems to enhance blended and distance learning opportunities across the state.
In his role, Dr. Blomstedt serves as the state school ofﬁcer and directs the promotion and improvement of education in Nebraska prekindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools. The commissioner also is responsible for vocational rehabilitation, disability determinations, and certain facets of postsecondary and adult education.
Together with the Nebraska State Board of Education, Dr. Blomstedt designed and implemented the comprehensive Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow, or AQuESTT, in 2014 and positioned Nebraska to meet new federal requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act. AQuESTT provides critical information for continuous school improvement and empowers the state’s excellent schools to become even better while actively assisting those schools in need of additional support to improve.
To further develop and focus on improvement efforts, Dr. Blomstedt and the Board jointly initiated a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan to guide their student-focused work and that of the Nebraska Department of Education.
In 2017 Dr. Blomstedt launched the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS), an innovative statewide assessment system that embodies Nebraska’s holistic view of students and helps them prepare for success in postsecondary education, career, and civic life. NSCAS measures grade-level achievement relative to Nebraska’s content area standards and features professional learning at no cost to districts to support Nebraska educators in facilitating student learning.
For over 20 years Commissioner Blomstedt has influenced critical statewide policy issues affecting Nebraska’s education system. In 2018 he received the National Association of State Boards Policy Leader of the Year award and is spearheading the 2020 Nebraska Ready initiative, a policy vision to ensure that the Nebraska education system advances student-centered experiences.
Like many leaders in education, Dr. Blomstedt’s day-to-day operations shifted during the coronavirus pandemic. He organizes and oversees critical education-health partnerships including with the Governor of Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services personnel, local public health officials, education administrators, business and community partners, and others to ensure that safe, high-quality education continues through COVID-19 and beyond. He testified before the Senate HELP Committee on June 10, 2020, advocating for a safe return to schools. Blomstedt continues to lead an advisory committee of school superintendents to receive input on educational challenges during the pandemic.
Dr. Blomstedt serves on several boards and commissions in Nebraska. He is an ex ofﬁcio member of the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Colleges, the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission, and the State Committee for the Reorganization of School Districts, and is the executive officer and secretary of the Nebraska State Board of Education.
The commissioner is a national education leader and serves on the Education Commission of the States Steering and Finance Committees. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers in December 2017 and will assume the presidency in 2020.
Dr. Blomstedt earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education and a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He, and his wife, Angela, are parents of five students in the Nebraska public school and university systems.
The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is a constitutional agency approved by Nebraska voters. The Department operates under the authority of an elected board of education. NDE is organized into teams that interact to operate the agency and carry out the duties assigned by state and federal statutes and the policy directions of the State Board of Education. The teams are organized around distinct functions and responsibilities that encompass leadership and support for Nebraska’s system of early childhood, primary, secondary and postsecondary education; direct services to clients; and internal support to the agency.
The department carries out its duties on behalf of Nebraska students in public, private, and nonpublic school systems. The staff of the department interacts with schools and institutions of higher education to develop, coordinate and improve educational programs.
To lead and support the preparation of all Nebraskans for learning, earning, and living.
Partnering for the best education for all . . . for life.
Equity of access and opportunity
Honesty, integrity, and trust
Quality programs and services
Visionary and participatory leadership
A positive, can-do attitude
Accountability for results
Respect for individuals and individual differences
Equity of opportunities and outcomes
Excellence through continuous improvement