Strategic Consulting for State Leaders

Drawing on our team's decades experience working with state and local education leaders and at all levels of system change in education, CFEP supports State Education Agency (SEA) officials across a broad spectrum of policy and system areas. CFEP & Keystone’s national experience with education policies, stakeholder engagement and working with SEAs uniquely positions us to serve as a trusted strategic advisor to state education chiefs and their teams, Governors, State Boards of Education (SBOEs), and workgroups or bodies responsible for solving complex issues in education.

SEAs and Chief State School Officers (CSSOs) are too-often caught in a balancing act - juggling dwindling resources, limited bandwidth and new education policies. Across the country, SEAs are being pushed to do more to drive change in K-12 education, with less. Our teams have worked with SEAs across the country on projects addressing a wide variety of challenges including policy design and advancement, implementing new policies, evaluating and improving internal structures, systems, operations and customer service. We couple our national perspective with our team's on-the-ground experiences to help SEAs understand how policies are playing out in real schools and districts. And as our team spots trends across districts, it equips SEAs with national research and best practices.

CFEP understands the challenges, opportunities, and realities when it comes to state policy and state systems, because our team members have worked with SEAs across the country to design, advance, and implement policy and system changes. We work with state leaders across the full continuum of change from goal setting, stakeholder engagement, and developing policy frameworks to planning for and managing comprehensive implementation plans including communications and systems for program monitoring, support, and continuous improvement.

CFEP’s support for states and state leaders includes:

  • Conducting, sourcing and identifying third-party research including national exemplars, case-studies and examinations of different approaches;
  • Strategic consulting on advancing regulatory, legislative, and internal policy changes;
  • Facilitating internal and external stakeholder engagement on the role of the state generally and in specific policy areas;
  • Supporting CSSOs and senior teams developing and communicating a vision and theory of action for their role and that of local leaders in different aspects of education policies and systems;
  • Developing strategic internal, stakeholder, and public communications plans;
  • Change management and system or policy implementation planning;
  • Identifying technical assistance partners and experts to support state and local leaders.

Advancing changes that improve outcomes for students requires leaders to thoughtfully develop bold, aspirational, and research-based solutions, to build support for, effectively communicate about, and successfully advance proposed changes and to plan for and support their implementation in a variety of conditions across their state. We recognize that different states have different needs. Drawing on decades of experience with school, district, and state-wide operations, CFEP offers tailored support in the areas our partners need it most. Regardless of the issue at hand, we help our state partners prioritize their efforts and achieve their goals.


Examples of Policy Specific Work

In addition to those projects listed in the Featured Projects section, see the links below for examples of our work with state and local leaders on specific policies and systems. Drawing on our in-depth experience with state and local education systems, we are always open to exploring partnerships focused on these or other systems are a good match between our expertise and local needs or priorities.

School Improvement: Best Practices & Role of the State

Learn about CFEP's services supporting state leaders designing and implementing school improvement frameworks.

Blended Learning

Read about CFEP's work helping state leaders and stakeholders examine best practices for developing and implementing blended learning models.


Stakeholder Engagement
Gathering input, finding common ground & building support through genuine, two-way dialogs
Workgroups & Convenings
Empowering robust, respectful conversations and examination of research to develop collaborative solutions.
Policy Development
Helping state and local leaders craft, advance and implement research backed and aspirational policies.
System Design
Helping education leaders implement new systems with efficacy, fidelity and efficiency to advance their vision.