Let’s Get This Conversation Started: Strategies, Tools, Examples and Resources to Help States Engage with Stakeholders to Develop and Implement their ESSA Plans

Developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, this publication is designed to guide state education agencies in the development of their ESSA plans. It "provides:

-- Detailed guidance on stakeholder engagement strategies;

-- State examples of effective [engagement] strategies;

-- Stakeholder-specific tactics;

-- [Engagement] planning templates and tools;

-- A breakdown of stakeholders [that] states are required to engage under each ESSA program; and

-- Lists of additional stakeholder engagement resources."

Content Comments 

The purposes of this publication are explicitly stated and achieved. The authors include effective recommendations, links to other state engagement processes, checklists, and useful links to other publications. The authors perhaps overstate the end result of the engagement process: "Every state will be positioned to achieve its guiding vision and address the needs of all students through the implementation of its state ESSA plan." But the many ideas and tips are valuable. 

Communications quality is solid, although there is some repetition, including multiple reminders to avoid "edu-speak" language. Hyperlinks to other state efforts may be helpful, although some of them are dated or overly general, such as links to members on a particular committee.

Utility should be high, especially during the initial ESSA development years. Evidence of effectiveness is not described, but this publication contains high quality information worthy of consideration.