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Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories
NFES 2008-802
October 2008

Chapter 3. Getting on the Same Page: Training and Communication

Training and communication, available to state-, district-, and building-level staff, are essential to successful implementation of the new race and ethnicity standards. Besides fostering a culture of quality data that extends from the school to the SEA, effective communication ensures that everyone has the same understanding of the real world—what it looks like to a teacher or school data clerk working with parents as they enroll their children in school. The most direct way to achieve consistency and efficiency in introducing the new standards is to have states provide initial training to district personnel and to then support school districts as they train staff in their own central offices and schools. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, for example, provided training at one of its annual meetings with district data staff. In addition, the agency continued to maintain a help desk to provide technical assistance to districts on an ongoing basis. Other states may choose to offer guidance or a framework, but leave the actual training to the districts.