External Evaluation of the National Center for Systemic Improvement


The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin provides the external evaluation for WestEd’s National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI). Originally launched in October 2014, NCSI is a multiyear cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

NCSI provides differentiated support through universal, targeted, and intensive technical assistance (TA) to support state education agencies (SEAs) to best use their general supervision and professional development systems to establish and meet high expectations for every student with a disability. MCPER’s evaluation efforts aim to provide high-quality formative and summative data that will support NCSI’s continuous improvement efforts and will document the extent to which NCSI has succeeded in meeting its expected outcomes.

Outcomes of Interest

The following are NCSI’s targeted objectives:

  1. Increased capacity of SEAs to align with broader general education initiatives to ensure that implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) best supports the needs of children with disabilities
  2. Increased capacity of SEAs to effectively implement their general supervision systems that serve to improve results for children with disabilities while maintaining compliance with IDEA
  3. Increased capacity of SEAs to effectively implement, evaluate, and revise their state strategic improvement plans (SSIPs) and ensure progress toward meeting their state identifiable measurable result (SIMR)
  4. Increased effectiveness of SEAs in engaging, meaningfully and authentically, diverse state (including state-level partnerships) and local stakeholders in ways that will support the effective implementation of ESSA and IDEA
  5. Increased capacity of SEAs to support local education agencies (LEAs) in selecting and implementing evidence-based practices within frameworks (e.g., multitiered systems of support [MTSS], positive behavioral interventions and supports [PBIS], response to intervention [RTI], and others)
  6. Increased capacity of SEAs to fully engage families, including partnerships with OSEP-funded parent centers and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) Statewide Family Engagement Centers, in the implementation of systemic improvement efforts
  7. Increased capacity of SEAs to deliver effective TA to LEAs using an aligned TA model grounded in implementation and improvement sciences through collaboration with OSEP-funded TA centers
  8. Improved access to objective information for families and youth with disabilities on the range of quality education options and supports