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State Chiefs Urged to Consult Stakeholders — Including EPPs — for ESSA Implementation

The Council of Chief State School Officers has released a new guide for state policy makers to engage stakeholders on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation, and educator preparation providers (EPPs) are among the two dozen groups recommended for consultation. Although the guide indicates that EPP input is required only for state Title II grant applications, it encourages states to “not stop there” but rather engage whatever perspectives best represent the state’s interests. AACTE encourages its members and state chapters to get involved with their state’s ESSA implementation in as many areas and as early as possible.

The new guide, “Let’s Get This Conversation Started,” provides a checklist for engaging stakeholders including processes related to identifying goals, communicating with audiences, and asking for input before making decisions. It also includes a discussion of best practices for interacting with these groups, templates and timelines for implementation, and a chart illustrating the minimum requirements for stakeholder consultation by program (see below).

Source: CCSSO Stakeholder Engagement Guide, p. 26

Update: The Learning First Alliance, of which AACTE is a member, has released its own principles for stakeholder engagement to ensure these groups are not merely kept apprised of policy directions but actually engaged in informing them.

Currently, states are at different phases of their ESSA implementation work, with different opportunities for stakeholder engagement. Some states have begun hosting town hall meetings, while other states are convening task forces. For example, in Washington, the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction created a series of workgroups focused on major policy areas of ESSA. In Kentucky, the commissioner of education has convened a series of town hall meetings to provide input on the state’s ESSA plans.

State chapters and AACTE members should be communicating with their state policy makers and partners in PK-12 to make sure that teacher preparation is represented at the table. AACTE has compiled state-by-state lists of key state policy makers’ contact information that are available here. If AACTE can assist you in making these connections, please let me know.

Meanwhile, please familiarize yourself with the new guide (available here in PDF) for state education chiefs, and keep me posted on your progress related to ESSA collaboration and partnership.

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Aaron Goldstein

Manager, State Policy & Relations