Goals and Priorities for Comprehensive Centers Program Approved

The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Assistant Secretary recently approved the goals and priorities of Year 6 that will appear in the cooperative agreement for the national network of comprehensive centers, which includes the National High School Center.  These centers, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, include 16 Regional Comprehensive Centers (RCCs) and 5 national content centers.  The 21 centers all originally held 5 year contracts but have received a year extension that incorporates the following goals and priorities as guidelines for the Centers’ continuing work:

Regional Comprehensive Centers:

  • Goals: The major goal of the RCCs is to help increase state capacity to support their districts and schools in meeting their student achievement goals by helping states to establish infrastructures and systemic processes that will enable them to: (1) assess the improvement needs of districts and schools; (2) develop solutions to address those needs; (3) build and sustain systemic support for districts and schools that promotes positive student outcomes; and  (4) create and improve the processes and tools necessary to the implementation of that support. 
  • Priorities: Work with states to address the following priority issues: (1) improve school readiness and success; (2) implement internationally benchmarked college and career ready elementary and secondary school academic standards with aligned assessments and instructional materials; (3) turn around persistently low achieving schools; (4) improve postsecondary success; (5) improve achievement and high school graduation rates in rural and high need schools; (6) promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); (7) meet the needs of diverse learners (i.e. regardless of nationality, first language, ethnicity, family income, zip code, achievement level or disability status); (8) improve the achievement of English Learners; (9) recruit, hire and retain great teachers and leaders; and (10) enable data-based decision making and evidence based decision-making.

Content Centers:

  • Goals: The major goal of the content centers is to supply much of the research-based information, products, guidance, analyses, and knowledge that regional centers will use when working with states. To achieve this goal, the core of content centers’ work will include the: (1) identification and evaluation of relevant research studies and other technical assistance resources; (2) synthesis across bodies of research; (3) benchmarking and identification of best practices; (4) translation into materials, training, and other resources useful for those working with state and district education systems; and (5) dissemination of such knowledge and resources.
  • Priorities: Topic areas remain the same, with the expectation that content centers will pursue the priorities listed above that are related to that particular topic(s).

Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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