This study has been completed.
September 2013 – November 2019
The Comprehensive Technical Assistance Centers is a federal grant program authorized under the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002. The purpose of the Centers is to help State Education Agencies (SEAs) build capacity to implement state-level initiatives and to support district- and school-level initiatives that improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of instruction. As of 2018, there were 15 Regional Centers that provided technical assistance to specific states and 7 Content Centers that provided content-area expertise in seven topics: standards and assessments implementation, great teachers and leaders, school turnaround, enhancing early learning outcomes, college- and career-readiness and success, building state capacity and productivity, and innovations in learning.
Since 2002, two sets of Centers have been funded, one starting in Fiscal Year 2005 and one starting in Fiscal Year 2012. The 22 Centers from the Fiscal Year 2012 cohort received a total of nearly $350 million in federal funding between 2012 and 2018. The Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 mandates a national evaluation of the program. The Institute of Education Sciences previously conducted an Evaluation of the Comprehensive Technical Assistance Centers for Fiscal Year 2005 Grantees. The current evaluation focused on the Fiscal Year 2012 grantees.
All 22 Centers were included in the sample. Data on the Centers' technical assistance design, implementation, and outcomes were collected over three years (from 2015 to 2017), primarily through: (1) the Centers' work plans and technical assistance activity data; (2) interviews with staff from each Center; (3) interviews with technical assistance recipients; (4) surveys of Center staff; and (5) surveys of technical assistance recipients. This approach yielded rich and diverse data that were analyzed and summarized using qualitative research methods and simple quantitative tabulations.
The final report, titled National Evaluation of the Comprehensive Centers Program Final Report, was released in October 2019.
A restricted-use file containing de-identified data is available for the purposes of replicating study findings and secondary analysis.