Transforming State Systems to Improve
Outcomes for Children with Disabilities
Context > Created on October 1, 2014, the NCSI builds upon the
decades-long success of the Regional Resource Center Program (RRCP)
and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special
Education Programs (OSEP).
1. Increase the capacity of State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Lead Agencies (LAs) to
develop, implement, and evaluate their State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs);
2. Increase SEAs’ and LAs’ knowledge, selection, and utilization of evidence-based
3. Improve SEA and LA infrastructure and coordination within SEAs and LAs for
delivering effective TA on implementing and scaling-up effective strategies, stakeholder
engagement, resource mapping and allocation, and instructional collaboration;
4. Increase the use of effective dissemination strategies by SEAs and LAs to ensure LEAs
and EIS programs and providers have access to EBPs and select and implement those
EBPs in a sustainable manner;
5. Increase the effectiveness of SEAs and LAs to meaningfully engage State and local
stakeholders in the development and implementation of the SSIP;
6. Increase the capacity of SEAs and LAs to effectively utilize TA resources funded by the
Department of Education; and
7. Increase the capacity of SEAs and LAs to implement general supervision systems that
support effective implementation of the IDEA.
Guiding Principles Established by WestEd & NCSI Partners
Shared leadership and authentic stakeholder engagement at national, state, and local levels
Distributed leadership across decision-makers and stakeholders at all levels is emphasized
to bridge special and general education systems, and to join state and local leaders as allies
in working to improve results.
Customized and differentiated TA to meet unique state needs and contexts
TA is customized and differentiated, tailored to states’ unique needs, geography, scale, and
priorities. Services to every state is a key priority.
Leveraging resources to maximize collaboration and minimize duplication
Intentional collaboration occurs with other OSEP and ED-funded Centers to successfully
support states with SSIP development and implementation, with services jointly planned
and coordinated so they are integrated, coherent, and value-added for clients.
American Institutes for
National Association of State
Directors of Special Education
Council of Chief State School
National Parent Technical
Assistance Centers Network
Meadows Center for Preventing
Educational Risk at UT-Austin
WestEd – San Francisco Office
WestEd – Burlington (VT) Office
The contents of this document were
developed under a grant from
the US Department of Education,
#H326R140006. However, those
contents do not necessarily represent
the policy of the US Department
of Education, and you should not
assume endorsement by the Federal
Government. Project Officers: Perry
Williams and Shedeh Hajghassemali.
The NCSI helps states build capacity to realize systems transformation through:
1. Performance Management – managing for improved outcomes while continuing to monitor IDEA compliance.
2. System Coherence – creating organizational unity across divisions, departments, and programs to ensure
coordinated, streamlined, and intentional interactions.
3. Adaptive Leadership – developing leaders and organizations that are adaptable to complex and changing environments
and that partner with stakeholders to develop solutions through innovation and collaborative problem solving.
4. Evidence-Based Practices – ensuring that children with disabilities receive developmentally appropriate,
A Leadership Team of nationally respected content and
TA experts representing each partner organization guides
the Center’s vision and implementation.
A Technical Assistance Coordination Team coordinates
provision of TA services.
TA Facilitators are assigned to each state/territory for
both Part C and Part B to understand needs and broker
resources. (Where possible, TA Facilitators who are also
state liaisons assigned from other centers (e.g., IDC, DaSy)
and who are also employed by this project are assigned to
the same states to maximize integration and knowledge
of state needs and context.)
Content Specialists populate four teams to develop tools,
resources, and supports for delivery of TA that builds
capacity in: Data Use, Knowledge Utilization, Systems
Change, and Communication & Collaboration. These
capacity-building teams create and implement TA Action
Plans at the Universal, Targeted, and Intensive TA
Levels. In addition to the Content Specialist role across
each of the four service areas, NCSI staff also serve as
TA Facilitators, working with assigned states to build
and sustain relationships, identify needs, and broker TA
Data Use Team
ƍ Focus: TA related to using high-quality data
as the SSIP foundation, and evaluating SSIP
ƍ Members: Content specialists in data collection, data
systems, root cause analysis, selecting appropriate
data sets to inform decision-making, and applying
data for decision-making.
Knowledge Utilization Team
ƍ Focus: Ensure that SEAs and Part C Lead Agencies
learn about and support school districts and early
intervention services programs to successfully
implement evidence-based practices and develop
adaptive leaders who promote knowledge use and
continuous learning and adaption.
ƍ Members: Content specialists in evidence-based
practices for standards, curriculum, instruction,
assessment, accountability, and meeting the needs of
children with disabilities.
Systems Change Team
ƍ Focus: SSIP development, implementation,
and evaluation, as well as state infrastructure
improvement, capacity for transformation, and
effective general supervision systems to help states
achieve systems coherence and adopt performance
management structures to achieve systems change.
ƍ Members: Content specialists in systems alignment,
resource analysis, and infrastructure analysis and
Communication & Collaboration Team
ƍ Focus: Developing state capacity for stakeholder
engagement and increasing access to quality
resources from general and special education TA
centers to help states select, develop, and implement
ƍ Members: Content specialists in building “ally
relationships” and communicating with key
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