Within the State Support Network, communities of practice (CoPs) focuses on the  school improvement challenges or topics identified below as a result of needs assessments and other feedback from States, districts, and TA partners.

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Current CoPs

TopicTimeframeDescriptionParticipating States and Districts
Data Quality2018This community of practice (CoP) will provide participating states an opportunity to share challenges and potential solutions to problems of practice related to data quality. This CoP is an opportunity to dive deeper into issues specific to data quality, which represented one of several topics in the first CoP focused on data systems. States will benefit from specialized technical knowledge from their peers as well as from national subject matter experts and will learn approaches to enhance their collection of high-quality data, increase the accuracy and timeliness of data for reporting, and implement efficient monitoring and validation processes.Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington
Cultivating and Supporting Effective Rural School LeadersOctober 2018 – April 2019The primary focus of this CoP is to help participating states inventory and assess their rural principal leadership strategies, systems of support, and services in order to develop and/or refine a theory of action and coordinated plan to enhance rural principal effectiveness.Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington
ESEA State Ombudsman HubOctober 2018 - January 2019This space offers a password-protected environment for state ombudsmen to engage with peers in other states, access tools and resources, and share best practices. Leveraging the power of existing networks and communities of state education professionals, this Hub provides an environment for collaboration and technical assistance to aid ombudsmen as they execute their important role with in state educational agencies.Open to all state ombudsmen.

Completed CoPs

TopicTimeframeDescriptionParticipating States and Districts
Evidence-Based PracticesJanuary 2017 – September 2017The purpose of this CoP is to help states improve their ability to support districts and schools in identifying and selecting evidence-based practices that match their identified needs. Explore the resources from this CoP.California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont
ESSA Consolidated State Plan DevelopmentJanuary 2017 – September 2017The purpose of this CoP is to provide a peer and expert network to help states craft and refine thoughtful, ambitious consolidated state plans with feedback and support from peer states and national subject matter experts. The CoP will produce a set of tools that explore considerations across multiple topics for establishing state systems that support improved educational opportunities for students. Explore the resources from this CoP.Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina
District Strategic Planning and Resource AllocationMay 2017 – September 2017The purpose of this CoP is to provide insight into the provisions of ESSA that impact financial equity and transparency around school funding and how they may play out in participating districts.Beaverton (OR), Bellevue (WA), Wake County (NC)
Implementing Needs AssessmentJuly 2017 – February 2018The purpose of this CoP is to provide peer and expert support to states that have recently developed a new comprehensive needs assessment process and will be implementing or piloting that process beginning in the fall semester of the 2017-18 school year. Explore the resources from this CoP.Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, South Dakota
Scaling Needs AssessmentJuly 2017 – February 2018This CoP 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. Explore the resources from this CoP.California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington DC
Differentiated Systems of Support for Rural AgenciesSeptember 2017 – April 2018The primary focus of this CoP is to explore effective strategies for providing differentiated federal and state support for districts and schools to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for students in rural communities. The CoP will build educators’ capacity to design and implement coherent local ESSA planning and action. Explore the resources from this CoP.Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee
Data SystemsAugust 2017 – March 2018The 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. Explore the resources from this CoP.Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina
English Language Proficiency (ELP)May 2017 – June 2018The purpose of this CoP is to help states determine methods for incorporating ELP progress in state accountability systems and long-term goals and provide support from EL and accountability experts in the development, refinement, and implementation of their state plans.Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,  Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island
Measuring School Quality and Student SuccessFebruary - July 2018This CoP will focus on accountability metrics, specifically focusing on the selection of the School Quality or Student Success (SQSS) Indicator (a nonacademic indicator, sometimes called the “fifth indicator”). 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. Explore the resources from this CoP.Arkansas, Delaware, Oklahoma, Washington
State Report CardsFebruary - July 2018This CoP will support States with meeting the new report card requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act. Participants will collaborate on developing different approaches to providing information regarding school quality to parents and families that is accessible and useful. More information about this CoP will be shared as it becomes available. Explore the resources from this CoP.Alabama, Bureau of Indian Education, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina 
Implementing Evidence-Based PracticesFebruary - June 2018This CoP is designed to focus on how to continuously improve EBPs to support low-achieving schools. It will bring together States and districts to discuss how to build capacity for this work, such as by identifying and adapting frameworks for engaging in cycles of continuous improvement, identifying common implementation challenges and developing strategies to improve the likelihood that selected practices improve student outcomes, and supporting districts in establishing or building an evidence base for practices. Explore the resources from this CoP.Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont
Financial Transparency2018This CoP is designed specifically to support rural or sparsely populated states as they work to develop plans to meet the school-level financial transparency requirement in ESSA. Specifically, facilitated by experts at the Edunomics Lab, the CoP will work with states that do not currently have finalized plans in place to collect and report school-level financial data. The CoP will meet from May to September, and will engage state educational agency (SEA) teams to develop financial data collection plans, assess early data collections for validity and usefulness, and design financial systems that are effective for all districts.Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma
State Support for School Identification and Improvement CoP2018This CoP is designed to support states’ systems for identifying low-performing schools and improving SEA processes for guiding district and school improvement planning. Working with Public Impact and the Center for Assessment, the CoP will help participating states to monitor and evaluate school identification decisions, align accountability-based identification systems and improvement-based support structures within and outside of the SEA, and support local districts to develop strong practices for district and school improvement planning. The CoP will meet from June to November and will provide opportunities for participating states to identify and address common challenges, highlight effective practices, and prioritize improvements to their systems for identifying schools and supporting improvement planning for districts and schools.Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Dakota