Projects

TA - Closed Project - State Agency Structures and Support

Background

The NCDPI provided significant levels of support to local education agencies and charter schools using Race to the Top (RttT) funds to increase academic achievement and teacher and leader effectiveness. During Years 3 and 4, SECC assisted the SEA in examining regional intermediate structures and alternative approaches for allocating services and support. In addition, the SEA collaborated with the Building State Capacity and Productivity (BSCP) Center to examine the structure, roles and responsibilities of its Communications Division to better support state key initiatives.  During Year 5, SECC will continue to collaborate with NCDPI to complete the examination of its communication processes and the development of a comprehensive communications plan. The SECC also will assist NCDPI with ESSA stakeholder engagement and exploring options for regional support.

Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: |

On April 11, SECC staff held a meeting with the new state superintendent of North Carolina, chief academic and digital learning officer, and the director of K–12 Curriculum and Instruction. During this meeting, staff were able to familiarize the superintendent with the various ways SECC has provided technical assistance to NCDPI in a multitude of content and topic areas. The superintendent was provided with past reports and information requests that have been completed by SECC staff members. He also was informed about NCDPI’s involvement on the SECC Advisory Board. Given that the State Agency Structures and Support project was requested by the previous state superintendent and the current superintendent has not made any new project requests under this project’s focus, this project has been closed. We will still be available to provide technical assistance for the state superintendent, if any requests are made.

 

 

Previous Updates:

On April 11, SECC staff held a meeting with the new state superintendent of North Carolina, chief academic and digital learning officer, and the director of K–12 Curriculum and Instruction. During this meeting, staff were able to familiarize the superintendent with the various ways SECC has provided technical assistance to NCDPI in a multitude of content and topic areas. The superintendent was provided with past reports and information requests that have been completed by SECC staff members. He also was informed about NCDPI’s involvement on the SECC Advisory Board. Given that the State Agency Structures and Support project was requested by the previous state superintendent and the current superintendent has not made any new project requests under this project’s focus, this project has been closed. We will still be available to provide technical assistance for the state superintendent, if any requests are made.

 

The anticipated meeting with the new state superintendent of North Carolina has been scheduled for April 11. SECC team members worked to draft an agenda for the meeting and determine the relevant documents that should be presented to best represent the technical assistance that the center has provided and continues to provide to NCDPI.

The Building State Capacity and Productivity Center released its report “Creating Strategic Communications in State Education Agencies: Lessons from States.” This report highlights important lessons about communication processes in state education agencies. North Carolina provided information about its communication processes, and SECC and NCDPI staff reviewed the report before its final release. In addition, a meeting has been scheduled with the state superintendent for April 11. This meeting will be used as a time to introduce SECC staff to the new state superintendent and the role SECC plays in assisting NCDPI in its statewide initiatives.

SECC staff has continued to communicate with NCDPI staff via email to schedule a meeting with the new state superintendent. Staff changes have occurred within NCDPI under the new administration; SECC staff have maintained contacts in the department and have been kept aware of the changes. The director of Accountability Services provided feedback on the design and functionality of American Institutes for Research’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) website. SECC staff and the director of the Communications and Information Division reviewed and revised the North Carolina portions of the State Education Agency Strategic Communication Processes report. This report is being written by staff from the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCPC). A BSCPC meeting will be held in February to review the Strategic Communication Toolkit, a tool which will assist state education agencies with their communication techniques and approaches.

On December 6, SECC staff participated in a phone call with the NCDPI senior policy advisor to State Superintendent Mike McLaughlin to discuss scheduling an introductory meeting with the new North Carolina state superintendent of public instruction and SECC staff. NCDPI staff shared that information regarding scheduling would be provided when the new superintendent arrives and SECC would be contacted.

SECC participated in the NCDPI ESSA External Stakeholder meeting on November 14. This meeting was held at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, and attended by more than 30 of the department’s external partners. Teams reviewed assigned sections of the ESSA draft plan to identify missing components, areas of confusion, and areas that needed additional explanation. The group also reviewed the options available to address the accountability requirements and offered suggestions on how best to address them. On November 16, SECC forwarded a resource document from the CCRS Center titled, Support ESSA Implementation: New Tools and Resources, to staff responsible for drafting the plan.

On October 20, SECC staff held a conference call meeting with the deputy state superintendent, the senior policy advisor to the state superintendent, the chief academic and digital learning officer, and the director of Data, Research and Federal Policy to discuss the Year 5 plan. Discussions centered around continuing to assist the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) in its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) data collection and developing a method (survey or focus group) to gather information from superintendents about how rural and small districts can increase capacity via shared regional services.