Let’s Get This Conversation Started

SEAs committed to making the most of this engagement opportunity should first reflect on how they currently work with stakeholders. The goal of ESSA engagement should be for stakeholders to leave feeling heard, informed and aware of how they can stay involved—is that what is happening now? SEAs should consider who they connect with regularly, who those stakeholders represent, and how their input is used, as well as who has not been historically engaged in a public education dialogue. This is no easy task, especially in already stretched-thin SEAs. This resource is meant to provide SEAs with detailed guidance on how best to plan for, launch and carry out this effort with a wide range of stakeholders.


This guide was developed in consultation with 15 national advocacy and civil rights groups, and contains specific strategies on how best to connect with, speak to and learn from stakeholders with a unique perspective. This tool expands the guidance on 10 engagement steps first provided in “Let’s Get This Conversation Started: Steps Every State Should Take to Map Out Its ESSA Engagement Strategy1,” and provides:

Detailed guidance on stakeholder engagement strategies;
State examples of effective strategies;
Stakeholder-specific tactics;
Planning templates and tools;
A breakdown of stakeholders states are required to engage under each ESSA program; and
Lists of additional stakeholder engagement resources.


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