An Effective Communication Plan: Communication Plans During a State Of Transition In The World Of Educational Assessment

Thursday, June 20, 2013: 1:35 PM-2:30 PM
National Harbor 6 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
  • final effective communication ccsso.pdf (1.3 MB)
  • Content Strands:
    1. Implementing state and federal programs and policy
    2. Transitioning assessment systems
    How do NAEP, NCSA, CCSSO, PARCC, SBAC, ESEA, and RttT all work together to impact and improve student assessment?  How is all this communicated to school staff, parents, and students effectively?  Is there a plan in place to provide consistent messaging to all stakeholders?  Who has the role of developing and implementing the communication plan?  What are the essentials of a plan for communicating multidimensional content during a transitional period to a diverse audience? Can you comprehensively answer any of the questions above?  This session is designed to help participants develop, improve, and/or revise a communication plan that builds strong bridges and aid in smooth transitions.

    While it is critical to understand how the standards, assessments, and performance standards all relate and the implications of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments.  When implementing state and federal programs and policies, it is paramount to have an effective communication plan.  Implementing a federal policy without a communication plan is consistent with planning to fail.  The presenters collectively have more than eight decades of experience in developing and implementing programs with effective communication strategies in different states and different populations. 

    The moderator will outline key elements in a communication plan.  Communication is an art and science that takes careful consideration; if effective can serve as the component that compliments and guarantees quality development and implementation.  The six basic elements:  communicator, message, communication channel, feedback mechanism, receiver/audience, and time frame will be illustrated to inform and challenge participants to formulate an effective plan designed to weather transitional seasons.   Each state is in transitional season; the challenge of maintaining communication that includes vignettes of the now, interim, and future in a manner that is relevant, useful, and meaningful is vital.

    The first presenter will discuss methods and approaches useful in messaging.  Researching, organizing, and crafting a message is only part of the story.  The methods used to distribute the message can profoundly impact the message.  Research is available to support face-to-face, video chat, phone, letters, instant messaging, message board, email, and text messaging.   Connecting the platform to the message and audience is essential.  Face-to-face is the strongest possible way to connect however it is not always possible.  The presenter will showcase research that highlights different methods of communication and methods ideal for detail saturated topics like federal policy, data analysis, and assessment systems.

    The second presenter will showcase best practices that have been implemented during challenging environments. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for states to share their best resources so this presenter will initiate the dialogue by sharing their experience with developing and implementing communication plans.  The presenter will outline the challenge, strategies, and outcomes.  The opportunity to borrow or exchange from other states will be made available. 

    The overall objective of the session is to equip the leaders of the districts and states with the tools needed to craft and implement an effective communication plan.  This session combined with solid knowledge of the tone and trends of participants’ assessment programs will prepare them to start along the path of authoring or assisting in the authorship of a communication plan comprehensive enough to drive efforts that positively impact and improve student assessment.  NO plan NO progress!