The Federal Network of Support
The U.S. Department of Education has established a network of centers to provide resources and other support to state and local decision makers. The network includes the comprehensive center system made up of seven national content centers and fifteen regional comprehensive centers, the regional educational laboratories (RELs), and other specialized centers. The centers work together to help policymakers and practitioners make evidence-based decisions at all levels of the system with the goal of improving student outcomes.
Regional Comprehensive Centers
Regional Comprehensive Centers provide frontline assistance to states to help them implement the ESEA and other related Federal school improvement programs and help increase the capacity of states to assist their districts and schools. Regional Centers are embedded in their regions and responsible for developing strong relationships and partnerships within their regional communities (ED, 2012). The Great Lakes Comprehensive Center works collaboratively with the other centers to support the states in the region.
Together, the seven Content Centers cover a spectrum of school improvement and technical assistance areas. Each of them is responsible for providing in-depth knowledge, expertise, and analyses in its focal area to Regional Centers and the states they serve. Content Centers disseminate information about scientifically based research on effective practice and research-based products in their area of specialty and provide expertise that Regional Centers can use in delivering technical assistance to states (ED, 2012).
Regional Educational Laboratories
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funds ten regional educational laboratories (RELs). Each REL serves a designated region of the country and focuses on the national priority of helping states and districts use data and analysis to address important education policy and practice issues. The REL Midwest serves the educational needs of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The REL Southwest assists Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas in using data and research evidence to address high-priority education needs in the region. Both RELS are administered by AIR.
The Facilitating Strategic Technical Assistance Partnerships Toolkit is a resource for regional comprehensive centers working closely with state departments of education (SEA) to help facilitate meaningful interactions between SEA leaders and their technical assistance partners.
MDE collaborated with the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) to develop this Guide. It is intended to support administrators, school leadership teams, and educators (e.g., early childhood educators, caregivers, teachers, support staff, and afterschool educators) in the implementation and integration of the Michigan SEL Competencies into the structure and daily routines of their schools. The Guide reinforces and extends the belief that students’ development of social and emotional competencies is something educators already focus on, demonstrating that SEL is not “one more thing,” but rather a part of daily practice. This Guide provides activities, tools and resources to promote competency development and demonstrates explicit connections to MDE’s SIF so that schools and educators can leverage both initiatives to advance learner knowledge and skills.
The GLCC Achievement Resource Center offers resources to support educators in their efforts to help African American young men reach their full potential. Content is organized by five topic areas:
- data trends and use,
- instructional support,
- models of success,
- thought leaders, and
- social emotional support.
The Great Lakes and Midwest Regional Deeper Learning Initiative is a collaboration between the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center and the Midwest Comprehensive Center designed to help states identify, explore, and advance state-level policy, guidance, and supports that drive deeper learning practices.