Thank you to all who were able to attend last month’s ESSA State Collaboration Convening, hosted by the Office of State Support and the State Support Network. Over 40 states and territories were represented at the half-day meeting held adjacent to the National Title I Association Summer Meeting and the Office of Special Education Programs Leadership Conference.
At this convening, states shared developments of their work in several Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Peer to Peer (P2P) exchanges convened by the State Support Network to support school improvement planning. In addition, participants consulted with peers and subject matter experts on specific state-selected topics relevant to the design and implementation of ESSA consolidated state plans. Resources shared by states and organizations that participated in the convening are available on the convening website and additional resources will be added throughout the month.
Join a State Support Network Community of Practice or Peer to Peer Exchange
The Office of State Support is excited to announce several new State Support Network CoPs and P2P exchanges that will be launching in the next month. A CoP engages participating states and subject matter experts over multiple-month learning cycles to explore and go deep on a topic through online discussion forums, blogs, and collaborative workspaces to accomplish mutually-determined objectives. A P2P exchange provides an opportunity to connect you with one or more peers and national, subject matter experts around a particular topic or problem of practice that you identify. For a P2P, we can connect you with a state colleague or colleagues that you identify or help you identify peers to be thought partners an issue with which you are struggling. In addition, we may propose, as we do below, a topic for a P2P exchange that we think is particularly well suited to small state-to-state collaboration.
We are currently recruiting participants for the following CoPs and P2P Exchanges:
- New Data Systems CoP: The purpose of this CoP is to help states improve the systems used to collect, analyze and report data, specifically by addressing ESSA provisions for data disaggregation and cross-tabulation analyses.
- New Differentiated Systems of Support for Rural Agencies CoP: The primary focus of this CoP is to explore effective strategies for providing differentiated support for districts and schools to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for students in rural communities. The CoP will build participants’ capacity to design and implement local ESSA planning and action that is well coordinated and coherent, meets the needs of the local communities, and addresses the particular challenges posed in rural communities.
- New Measuring School Quality and Student Success CoP: This CoP will focus on the use of accountability metrics, specifically focusing on approaches to the School Quality or Student Success (SQSS) Indicator, to identify and support schools as part of a state’s accountability system. This CoP will help states address the potential, challenges, and practical concerns associated with selecting and implementing SQSS indicators that are valid and reliable and result in meaningful differentiation among schools.
- New Equity Labs P2P Exchange: The purpose of this P2P exchange is to support states that are interested in designing and implementing educator equity labs as a strategy to support LEAs in developing local educator equity plans. The intended outcome of this series is that each participating state will use the materials and plans that they develop over the course of this series to conduct an equity lab within the next 6-12 months following the conclusion of the series.
- Just Launched Scaling Needs Assessment CoP. The Network recently launched the Scaling Needs Assessment CoP, which will support participating states in developing a comprehensive approach to needs assessment across federal programs. States will develop approaches to break down silos, streamline data collection, and promote a cycle of continuous improvement for districts using needs assessments to inform implementation of state and federal programs supporting school improvement.
If your state is interested in joining one of these CoPs or P2P Exchanges, please contact your OSS State mailbox at OSS.[State]@ed.gov (e.g., OSS.Wyoming@ed.gov) and copy firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share these opportunities with other colleagues within your agency who might be interested in participating as well.
In order to maximize the utility of these opportunities for the participating states, we may not be able to accommodate all states who are interested in participating in each CoP and P2P exchange; however, we will work with you to provide support for your State’s specific needs. Please reach out to your OSS State contact by August 30 if your State is interested in one of these opportunities.
We look forward to working with you.
Deputy Director, Office of State Support