How do we improve educator effectiveness in Appalachia?

Building capacity in educator effectiveness through Region 5’s Comprehensive Center


The Comprehensive Center Network (CC Network) provides capacity-building services to state educational agencies (SEAs), regional educational agencies (REAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools that improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of instruction.

The CC Network represents 5-year grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Awardees include 19 Regional Comprehensive Centers and 1 National Comprehensive Center. These 5-year grants provide services to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Indian Education, and U.S. Territories and outlying areas.

The Region 5 Comprehensive Center (CC), which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, presents its own context, challenges, and supports; there are also common issues, policies, and assets across the states. Our team is 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.


SEAs are experiencing a period of intense transition as they tackle a new set of responsibilities provided by the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These challenges have been compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on states, school districts, their partners, and communities.

The Region 5 CC team provides a full range of capabilities in designing and delivering capacity-building support, user-centric technologies, and effective communications strategies. These include:

  • Supporting implementation of ESSA state plans
  • Identifying evidence-based practices or interventions
  • Developing internal and external communication plans

The Region 5 CC is supporting Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia:

  • In Kentucky, our work focuses on the impact of the economic shutdown, co-developing an accelerated learning framework, and building capacity in the review of the state science standards.
  • In Tennessee, our work focuses on recruitment and retention of effective educators, the co-development of an adult learning framework, and culturally responsive teaching and leading.
  • In Virginia, the focus is to support building capacity in developing a continuous improvement model and identifying strategies for vetting high-quality literacy resources.
  • In West Virginia, we focus on the impact of opioids and trauma with professional learning for educators to support students impacted by substance abuse, and teacher and leader pathways to licensure.

We build capacity in a variety of areas, including leadership development and coaching, strategic communication, performance measurement, social-emotional behavior, and continuous improvement.

For more information about our other projects and our strong equity focus across initiatives, visit the Region 5 Comprehensive Center web page.


Our goal is to increase each SEA’s capacity to address issues for their students and families by building upon prior successes and providing access to additional resources and information to create new wins.


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