Creating a Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Podcast Series

Many states (and some districts) have considered developing a singular comprehensive needs assessment process that can address all their federal program needs assessment requirements, thereby replacing multiple assessments they may use currently to meet federal program requirements. Developing a singular needs assessment process takes considerable planning and communication effort, which may be why few states and districts have completed and implemented such a process. For this reason, there have been few examples of best practices to adopt and pitfalls to avoid available to those interested in this strategy, leaving the states and districts that want to adopt a singular needs assessment without a roadmap for implementation.

This multi-media blog series will highlight two states that have been trailblazers in designing and implementing a singular comprehensive needs assessment process: Georgia and Arizona. We had a conversation with Craig Geers and John Wight from the Georgia Department of Education and Devon Isherwood from the Arizona Department of Education to learn more about their experiences and insights, which are captured here in the following series of podcasts.

This series will share key successes and lessons learned in Georgia and Arizona across the stages of needs assessment development and implementation. This series will include six short audio clips focused on the following topics:

  • Why creating a singular needs assessment process is worth the time and effort
  • How to plan for the singular needs assessment process (including key takeaways about team structures and timelines)
  • How to design data selection and deployment (where we learn that how you provide the data may be as important as what you provide)
  • How to interpret data (where we learn that the interpretation process is really the point of the whole effort)
  • How to set priorities and connect these priorities to implementation (e.g., how you ensure the needs assessment is not a “one-and-done” that sits on a shelf)
  • How to involve districts and schools in planning and developing a singular needs assessment (so they care that it exists and know how to use it)

And, because hindsight is always 20/20, this series will also highlight lessons learned and insights into what these states would do differently if they had it to do over again.

Click here for the first podcast in the series.