Engaging Stakeholders to Support PAs

Educator uses structured conversation as a means to create school stakeholder buy-in for the shift to performance assessments for learning.
Made by Center for Collaborative Education Inc.

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The educator engages students, teachers, parents, students, and the community in structured conversations designed to increase support and common purpose around Performance Assessment for Learning.

Method Components

The Leading a Performance Assessment Learning Community for Learning stack is designed so that, if all three credentials are taken together, they will become more than the sum of their parts. Each micro-credential is intended to be able to stand on its own; however, the ideas and activities of each of these credentials support and expand on the others, allowing a fuller appreciation of performance assessment and the value it brings to an educational system. Even more value will be gained by engaging in all three Performance Assessment for Learning stacks together.

Why Engage Stakeholders?

To enact a change as fundamental as a shift to performance assessments, it is necessary that all stakeholder groups* in the school—students, parents, teachers, and the community—are engaged and supportive of the change. It is not enough that they “allow” it; they must be active partners in the process.

The dangers of not engaging stakeholders include withdrawal of school board support, poorly executed and poorly understood assessment policies, poor student performance, and hostility from the community. The benefits of stakeholder partnership include unity within the school community, access to the political will of community members, and higher performance (and happiness) from students. Above all, the change process will benefit from the wisdom, knowledge, and insight of the community.

Engagement is achieved through education and advocacy around the change. This means that you will engage in conversations—structured conversations (i.e., protocols)—individually, in small groups and large groups, in social settings, and in social media. As change consultant Judy Enright says, “Change happens one conversation at a time.”

Your Task:

Develop a communication plan and implement one piece of it.

  1. Write a statement of purpose for a communications plan that includes 1) the goal of the change process, 2) the importance of the change, 3) possible roles for all stakeholders, and 4) an explanation of how the success of the initiative will be evaluated.

  2. Construct a communication plan that educates each of the stakeholder groups about the shift to performance assessment and advocates for that shift. The plan should be detailed, allowing for at least two encounters/events with each of the stakeholder groups (either individually or in combination). At least one of the events should include the “Vision of the Graduate” protocol. (This was done in another micro-credential with your PLC. Now, you are conducting it with stakeholders. This is important work.)

    Be sure to include a variety of strategies in your plan. The change leaders standing in front talking to an auditorium of community members will not be effective. Use a combination of structured conversation formats and protocols, either QPA Tools and Protocols or National School Reform Faculty protocols (see resources). Each meeting/event must have specific goals.

  3. Review your plan with at least two other colleagues.

  4. Carry out at least one of the events in your plan at your school or district.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Leithwood, K., & Riehl, C. (2005). What do we already know about educational leadership? A new agenda for research in educational leadership, 12-27.

  • Johnson, L. (2007). Rethinking successful school leadership in challenging US schools: Culturally responsive practices in school-community relationships. International Studies in Educational Administration, 35(3), 49-57.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Got it” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Describe the context within which this change work is taking place. What are the school demographics? Its history with change initiatives? Describe the community, etc.
  • What is the statement of purpose that informs your work developing structured conversations with school stakeholders about performance assessment? A statement of purpose describes concretely the following:
    • What is important in this work and why it is important
    • Your understanding of your role facilitating this work
    • Your understanding the role of stakeholders
    • How you measure its impact

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

To earn the micro-credential for Engaging Stakeholders to Support PAs, the educator must submit the following:

  • Evidence of statement of purpose

  • Evidence of demonstrating and understanding of the impact of different structured conversations strategies working with a diverse group (e.g., a list of pros/cons for each approach or a reflection on an effective approach for their work)

  • Evidence of engagement activity with one or more stakeholder group(s) (e.g., meeting plan, agenda, video of meeting, audio, notes, minutes, etc.)

  • Feedback from stakeholders about engagement activity (e.g., recorded interviews or survey)

Part 3: Reflection

Write a reflective essay (1,000-word limit) OR record a five- to ten-minute video or audio addressing the following topics (be sure to use specificsthat illustrate why you come to the conclusions you do):

  • What have you learned about ways to engage school stakeholders effectively in conversations about instructional change that you didn’t know before?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of different structured conversation approaches?
  • What are the steps involved in creating a successful conversation with stakeholders?
  • What have you learned about yourself as a facilitator in leading conversations with school stakeholders?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

Ready to get started?