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How can we improve educational systems and student outcomes?

Empowering change with the Region 14 Comprehensive Center

Challenge

In Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, educators, students, and families have shown remarkable resilience in overcoming challenges. These include COVID-19-related school closures and disruptions caused by natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.

Despite these efforts, student performance has yet to fully return to pre-pandemic levels, and achievement disparities persist among underrepresented groups. State educational agencies (SEAs) continue to diligently implement evidence-based practices to improve student outcomes, close achievement gaps, and reduce disparities in educational opportunities.

The Comprehensive Center Network (CCNetwork) features 20 federally funded Technical Assistance Centers that address critical educational needs nationwide. Working alongside state, district, and local leaders​, the U.S. Department of Education, national organizations​, and community partners​, these Centers provide free services to support capacity-building in SEAs and local educational agencies (LEAs).

Westat leads the Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC), partnering with leaders of SEAs in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. This partnership brings together experts, services, and supports to tackle the region’s most complex challenges.

Solution

The R14CC provides client-centered, needs-based, and co-created capacity-building services, delivered by subject matter and practitioner experts. The Center enhances the ability of state clients to identify and implement a range of supports for LEAs to improve student outcomes. This involves selecting and implementing sustainable, evidence-based practices (EBPs) that combine subject matter expertise with cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data visualization.

The R14CC recognizes the unique challenges and goals of each educational system. To maximize its impact, the Center categorizes projects into 5 key areas. These areas address high-priority challenges identified collaboratively across the region.

  • College and career readiness: Developing skills and academic preparedness for a global, knowledge-based economy.
  • Educator effectiveness: Raising academic expectations through culturally responsive and equity-focused education practices.
  • Effective instruction: Scaling instructional leadership models to advance student outcomes.
  • Organizational effectiveness: Assisting states by aligning internal processes, optimizing resource allocation, and cultivating a culture that maximizes educational impact.
  • School and community health: Providing resources and partnerships to improve student and staff well-being.

This strategic organization allows the R14CC to align its services with state goals, develop a shared vision, maximize efficiency, and deliver results for clients.

Results

These exemplary projects highlight the R14CC’s impact across the region, showcasing its collaborative efforts in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.

Increasing Access to Effective Educators in Arkansas

To provide educators with opportunities to grow, the R14CC supports the Arkansas Department of Education with the alignment of its programs in a talent development system and strengthening the metrics for evaluating impact. Learn more: Increasing Access to Effective Educators in Arkansas

Launching an EPIC Dashboard for Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Education partnered with the R14CC to design a groundbreaking fiscal data visualization solution—EPIC (Education Progress and Investment Charts). EPIC uses AI to make data on Louisiana’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) investments and outcomes clear and accessible. Learn more : Launching an EPIC Dashboard for Louisiana

Building Safe, Supportive Schools for All Texas Students

The Texas Education Agency and its partners, including the R14CC, are building statewide school-based mental health supports to ensure students, families, schools, and districts can access the tools and resources necessary to effectively address mental and behavioral health needs. Learn more: A Collective Approach to Building Safe and Supportive Schools for All Texas Students

For more information about R14CC projects and resources, visit the R14CC website.

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