Regional Projects

two teachers in thought

Priority 2 — Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders

Educator Effectiveness Collaborative

Collaborating on continuous improvement efforts can help identify solutions, process strategies, share lessons learned, inspire new ideas, and accelerate learning and productivity. Six states have been doing just that—investigating and addressing specific, high-priority, high-impact ways to improve their educator evaluation and professional support systems.

The Collaborative for the Continuous Improvement of Educator Effectiveness Systems (the Collaborative), a partnership of the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the West Comprehensive Center, and six states (Delaware, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, and Rhode Island) have collaborated since 2016 to address state-specific design and implementation challenges. The Collaborative has worked to continuously improve their systems to assess teacher performance and provide high-quality, differentiated support and development. These states are staying the course on this work with the goal of improving teaching and learning for all. Each state has identified specific areas of improvement in its system impacting both policy and practice and, collectively, have developed a set of guiding principles that the six states consider essential for the continuous improvement of educator effectiveness systems.

three teachers reading and thinking

Priority 3 — District and School Improvement

Talent for Turnaround

The Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) is a multi-year initiative designed to help states and districts align equitable access and school improvement efforts. The T4TLA focuses on the development of coherent and aligned talent management systems that can attract, support, and retain excellent educators in the lowest performing, highest need schools and districts. A collaboration among several centers in the comprehensive center network supports nine states and fourteen LEA teams from across the country, organized and implemented through both national and regional face to face and virtual venues.

As teams identify prioritized challenges and select strategies designed to address these challenges, the T4TLA provides coordinated and differentiated technical assistance based on SEA and LEA readiness and interest to support strategy implementation on the ground. This technical assistance integrates evidence-based practices in both talent management and school improvement to support T4T teams in designing and implementing talent management strategies in a turnaround environment.

teachers grouped around a computer

Priority 5 — College and Career Readiness

Career Pathways

The WCC formed the College and Career Readiness Collaborative to leverage knowledge and expertise across states, address shared challenges collectively, and better prepare students for postsecondary studies and workforce entry. State education agency leaders working in the areas of career and technical education, comprehensive school counseling, college and career readiness, and dropout prevention established cross-agency secondary leadership teams. These teams compose this regional community of practice.

Current efforts focus on the implementation of individualized learning plans. Members are working with the Center for College and Career Readiness and Success to develop a best-practices compendium that includes learning plan implementation strategies, accountability indicators, monitoring systems, and improvement processes. Additional joint projects focus on career literacy, rigorous pathways, competency-based graduation requirements, interventions and supports for unique populations, and longitudinal academic and career advisement systems that include electronic portfolios.

two teachers talking

Priority 8 — Organizational Management

SEA Executive Leadership

This project was developed in collaboration with the University of Virginia, Partnership for Leaders in Education (UVA-PLE) at the Darden School of Business, with input from State Education Agency (SEA) leaders in the west. The goal is to provide professional opportunities for SEA leaders that will successfully support their efforts to lead reform initiatives in their respective states. SEA executive teams and their chief state school officers meet regularly throughout the year. The sessions are designed specifically for SEAs to address their own organizational management issues in leading statewide initiatives with discussions and case studies led by UVA Darden faculty. Through both individual team time and whole-group discussions, SEA executive teams have opportunities to share efforts, address challenges, and learn from one another.

In these sessions, SEA chief state school officers and their executive teams from Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah have addressed reorganization efforts, communication strategies and talent management development as well as the implications of federal and state statute and policies.