Component 2: Securing and Sustaining Stakeholder Investment & Cultivating a Strategic Communication Plan

Stakeholder Investment

Evaluation systems are much more likely to be accepted, successfully implemented, and sustained if stakeholders are included in the design process. Stakeholder involvement throughout the design, implementation, assessment, and revision of teacher evaluation systems increases the likelihood that the system is perceived as responsive, useful, and fair.

Communication Plan

Early on in the process, stakeholders should consider communication needs. A strategic communication plan detailing steps to inform the broader school community about implementation efforts, results, and future plans may increase the potential for statewide adoption. Misperceptions and opposition can be minimized if the state and districts communicate a clear and consistent message. A strategic communication plan first identifies the essential messages and audiences. Potential key audiences could include pilot participants, school personnel, families, and the external community. Stakeholders would then determine the most effective channel of communication for its purpose and target audience.

For a more detailed discussion of these topics, see the full downloadable Acrobat version of A Practical Guide to Designing Comprehensive Teacher Evaluation Systems.


Stakeholder group

Guiding Questions

Group roles & expectations

Guiding Questions

Communication plan

Guiding Questions


Guiding Questions

  • Has the stakeholder group been identified for involvement in the design of the evaluation model?
  • Who are the crucial stakeholders (e.g., teachers, union representatives, teacher preparation faculty, community members, administrators, state and local personnel and leaders)?
  • What state departments will be affected by changes in teacher evaluation? Should a representative be included in the stakeholder group?
  • Are other stakeholder groups already established? If yes, could one of these groups be expanded to include teacher evaluation work?
  • Do representatives from other stakeholder groups need to be appointed to this stakeholder group to ensure that reform efforts are aligned?
  • Have the group expectations and individual roles been established?

Group Expectations

  • Will the group have authority in making decisions, or will it serve in an advisory capacity?
  • What is the group's purpose? Will it help design the system, provide recommendations, and/or provide approval?
  • What level of commitment will stakeholders be required to make (e.g., how frequently the team will meet, for how many months)?
  • Does legislation dictate the work of the stakeholder group?

Stakeholder Roles

  • What skills, experience, and knowledge does each stakeholder bring to the table?
  • What roles need to be filled (e.g., marketing, mobilizing support, interpreting legislation)?
  • Will some stakeholders be involved in designing the system? Communicating plans and progress? Designing research?
  • Does the group have a strategic communication plan to keep the broader school community informed?


  • What information needs to be communicated to stakeholders?
  • Will pilot results be communicated?
  • Will progress on the design, implementation, and success of the evaluation system be shared?
  • Will teacher evaluation results be reported?

Target Audience

  • Which stakeholders should be kept informed about the development, implementation, and results of efforts related to teacher evaluation?
  • Who will be the target audience (e.g., pilot participants, teachers, administrators, students, parents, community)?
  • Will communication efforts be varied according to audience (e.g., board members require more detailed updates than community members)?
  • How will personnel outside of the stakeholder group be kept informed?


  • Do channels of communication with stakeholders already exist?
  • Does the state have a public communications department that could assist in marketing?
  • What forms of communication will be utilized (e.g., website, e-mails, newsletters, public announcements)?


  • Does the plan include communication strategies throughout the development process (e.g., in the beginning, during, and after each phase)?
  • Has the plan considered optimal timing for communicating evaluation efforts and results?
  • Has the stakeholder group determined a process to ensure that constituent feedback is integrated into the systems' redesign efforts?


  • From whom does the group wish to solicit feedback (e.g., pilot participants, teachers, legislators, administrators, parents)?


  • What methods will the state use to obtain feedback from affected school personnel during the design process (e.g., surveys, focus groups)?
  • Are there teacher groups or electronic mailing lists that could be accessed to obtain stakeholder feedback?
  • Are there teachers of certain student populations and content areas in which focus groups should be considered?
  • Has the group considered an internal or external evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the system (from a teacher/principal perspective) during implementation?


  • Who will consolidate the stakeholder feedback? How will it be incorporated into the redesign process?
  • How will the group respond to stakeholder feedback (e.g., Q&A document, FAQ newsletter?)
  • What weight will constituent feedback hold?
  • Will student outcomes be considered before changes are considered?


Communication Framework for Measuring Teacher Quality and Effectiveness: Bringing Coherence to the Conversation

Union InvolvementThis framework can be used by regional comprehensive center staff, state education agency personnel, and local education agency personnel to promote effective dialogue about the measurement of teacher quality and effectiveness. The framework consists of the following four components: communication planning, goals clarification, teacher quality terms, and measurement tools and resources.

Some school districts experience obstacles when addressing the needs and perspectives of their local unions. Yet unions play a crucial role in developing and implementing teacher evaluation systems. The following resources aim to address these concerns by offering examples and perspectives that can help in the development process.


Teachers Unions as Agents of Reform

Policy and Regulations

To ensure a smooth and effective implementation path, it is important to know the rules and policies that apply to teachers in a particular state or district before adopting reform measures. The following resource offers valuable information about collective bargaining agreements and school board policies.

Teacher Contract Database

Building Capacity and Union Support

Strong district and union relationships facilitate the development of stakeholder buy-in and the implementation of a teacher effectiveness system. The collaboration between the district and the teacher representative unit ensures that all views are represented and supports the development of an invested group of stakeholders.

Advancing Student Achievement Through Effective Teaching and Leading

Closing the Gaps: Using a Collaborative Model to Make a Real Difference


The effective communication of goals to stakeholders is essential to ensure effective implementation of any teacher effectiveness measurement system. The following resource offers some valuable pointers on promoting effective dialogue among stakeholders.

Communication Framework for Measuring Teacher Quality and Effectiveness: Bringing Coherence to the Conversation


The GTL Center is building an online repository of expert panel reviews of real-life teacher evaluation models operated by districts throughout the country. For each district included, you can view, per component, a description of how that district approached the many issues involved. To view these real-life models, visit the Teacher Evaluation Models in Practice portion of the GTL Center website.
  • First, click on View the Models in the table of contents.
  • Click one or more districts.
  • Then, select Component 2.