Purpose and Mission
Comprehensive Centers provide technical assistance services to States, districts, and schools in order to support school reform efforts that improve teaching and learning for all students.
To achieve their mission, the Centers provide technical assistance in a variety of areas including:
- Coordinating school reform programs with other Federal, State, and local education plans and activities so all students, particularly those at risk of educational failure, are provided opportunities to meet challenging State content standards and student performance standards.
- Providing guidance on how to implement school reform programs in a manner that improves teaching and learning for all students.
- Improving the quality of instruction, curricula, assessment, and other aspects of school reform.
- Improving the quality of programs for limited English proficient students, including programs that emphasize English and native language proficiency and promote multicultural understanding.
- Implementing high-quality professional development activities for teachers, administrators, pupil services personnel, other school staff, and parents.
- Helping to creating safe and drug-free environments, especially in areas experiencing high levels of drug use and violence in the community and in school.
- Coordinating technical assistance and information sharing with the U.S. Department of Education and with other federally funded centers involved in technical assistance, research, development, and dissemination activities.
- The Comprehensive Centers work primarily with States, local educational agencies (LEAs), tribes, schools, and other recipients of funds under ESEA. Priority for services is given to high-poverty schools and districts, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools, and ESEA recipients implementing Title I schoolwide programs.
Supporting Standards-Based Reform
Comprehensive Centers efforts have resulted in:
- Building Client Capacity for Educational Change. Centers are contributing to the design of long-term, professional development programs in order to enhance the capacity of teachers and administrators to provide high-quality standards-based instruction. Centers, in collaboration with school districts and State educational agencies, have also developed and implemented parent training programs. All Center activities are part of the overall strategy to develop and buttress structures that sustain educational improvement.
- Helping to Establish Knowledgeable Networks of Key Education Stakeholders. The Centers' activities are designed to facilitate and sustain discussion of systemic change between and among chief State school officers, local superintendents, central office administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and students. Activities have included convening work sessions for State leadership and school practitioners and providing venues for information sharing, such as face-to-face meetings, electronic meetings, and forums on the Internet.
- Developing and Disseminating a Range of Learning Products to Support Educational Change. Periodic and regular publications available through a variety of media, including the Internet, have provided stakeholders with up-to-date, useful information on research and best practice. Materials offered by the Centers include training guides and manuals, monographs, and serial publications on best practice for special student populations, including limited English proficient students. The Centers also provide information and resources for educators in their regions via sites on the World Wide Web.