Comprehensive Centers Program to Improve Educational Outcomes: Westat to Provide High-Quality, Targeted, Capacity-Building Services

State education agencies (SEAs) are experiencing a period of intense transition as they tackle a new set of responsibilities provided by the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act. To meet these challenges, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) Office of Elementary and Secondary Education is establishing the Comprehensive Centers program that provides high-quality, universal, and targeted capacity-building services to address common high-leverage problems. ED has selected Westat to establish and manage the following efforts.

National Center within the Comprehensive Centers program. The National Center will work closely and collaboratively with the 19 regional comprehensive centers, SEAs, regional education agencies, local education agencies, and schools to enhance their capacity and respond to their unique needs. This is a 5-year grant valued at $25 million.

Region 5 (Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia). Westat recognizes that each state in Region 5 presents its own context, challenges, and supports; there are also common issues, policies, and assets across the states. Our team has experience in this region and will be meeting SEAs where they are, using an equity lens to contextualize our work, and delivering capacity-building services through a human-centered, design-thinking approach. This is a 5-year grant valued at $11.9 million.

Region 14 (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas). Westat has previously worked closely with SEAs in these states and the region as a whole, and understands the contexts influenced by geography, economics, and public policies that impact students and communities in different ways. This background enables our team to target intensive capacity-building services for implementing and scaling up evidence-based programs and interventions where needed most. This is a 5-year grant valued at $26.3 million.

“We are honored to be chosen for these awards and look forward to providing the full range of capabilities in designing and delivering capacity-building support, user-centric technologies, and effective communications strategies,” notes Babette Gutmann, Vice President and Practice Director, Education Studies.

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