PROCESS and PROTEST: Promising Practices
3. SUSTAINABILITY: Stick With It
Engagement efforts must begin at the earliest planning stages, continue throughout implementation in structured, regular ways, and occur at all levels (federal, state, and local).
Nevada Convened a Meaningful Advisory Group: As did a number of SEAs, the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) convened an Advisory Group and workgroups to aid in the development of its consolidated ESSA plan. While the NDE anticipated these groups would each meet three times, all of the groups, after their initial meetings, communicated that they would need to meet more frequently to advance their work. The Advisory Group met at least thirteen times, and NDE, in response to stakeholder feedback, continued to support the inclusion of new Advisory Group members throughout the process. Even after the submission of its consolidated state plan, NDE continues to reach out to Advisory Group members, both collectively and individually, as a “kitchen cabinet” on a variety of matters.
Delaware Redirected Staff: The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) repurposed a staff position to support parent and community engagement. The scope of the work is to coordinate parent and community engagement efforts across federal and state programs, and to support LEA provision of trauma-informed practices and the delivery of community services for children and families. The position has been filled by someone who worked on the ESSA plan, which may lend itself to consistency and sustainability in future ESSA outreach and engagement efforts.
Tennessee Built Capacity Through Partnerships: Prior to and during the development of its consolidated state plan, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) collaborated with the Tennessee Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), Conexión Américas, superintendents from the Leading Innovation for Tennessee Education (LIFT) group, and the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (the Alliance) on stakeholder engagement and the dissemination of relevant research findings. As TDOE shifts into plan implementation, it is planning an annual education summit to be co-sponsored with SCORE, and is developing a long-term vision to support educator preparation and development in partnership with the Alliance. TDOE is also contemplating a “cohort model” for superintendent support and professional development in coordination with LIFT and other organizations.
Room for Growth For All States:
Evaluate and continue effective efforts: It is important that states evaluate and improve on existing efforts. A number of state plans do not offer any detail for how engagement efforts will continue after the plan has been approved by US ED and throughout ESSA implementation, nor do they identify any statutes or policies, staff, or budgetary allocations to support ongoing stakeholder engagement.
- Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement
(Education Commission of the States | June 2016)
- Stakeholder Engagement Toolkits
(Community Tool Box | 2016)
- Stakeholder Input for ESSA Plan Development
(National Down Syndrome Congress | June 2017)
- Parent and Family Engagement Provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act
(The Leadership Conference Education Fund | January 2016)
Additional examples of promising practices from states with recently submitted state plans (September and October, 2017) are forthcoming.