National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI)

AIR partners with WestEd on the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) to assist states to transform education and early intervention systems to improve educational results and functional outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. 

Man holding daughter with Downs syndrome

The Office of Special Education Programs’ Results Driven Accountability Initiative represents a significant shift in state accountability from a focus on compliance and ensuring access to education and early intervention services to a focus on measurable and meaningful outcomes in learning and development for children and youth with disabilities. This shift requires states to accurately assess needs, priorities, and capacities of program infrastructures; engage in strategic, collaborative, and integrated improvement planning; and carefully implement evidence-based practices. The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) was created to help states meet these needs.

NCSI is a five-year technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The vision for NCSI is to support states to transform their systems from a focus on compliance and educational access, to realizing the full achievement of high-quality educational opportunities and developmental experiences for children and families. To achieve this vision, NCSI’s overarching goal is to provide technical assistance that builds State Education Agency and Lead Agency capacity to develop, implement, and evaluate their State Systemic Improvement Plan and support local programs in improving educational results and functional outcomes for children with disabilities.

Key Related Work

Presentation at the CASE / NASDSE Conference, Milwaukee, WI (September, 2016)

Improving Results: What Does it Require of States, District, and Schools? (PDF)

Teri Marx (AIR/NCII & CEEDAR), David Sienko (RIDE), Leslie Anderson (Bristol Warren Regional Schools, WI) and Louis Danielson (AIR/NCII, NCSI, CEEDAR)

Coaching Resources

Many states have identified coaching as a key strategy to implement their SSIP.  These resources on  effective coaching, offer tools for measuring the fidelity of coaching, and suggest actions for teams to effectively implement coaching to improve teacher practice and learner outcomes.

Evaluating Implementation of the State Systemic Improvement Plan

Implementation Evaluation Matrix

This NCSI resource provides states with a sample approach and tool to plan and track measures of State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) implementation. It assists states in addressing the SSIP requirements laid out in the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) Part B and Part C Indicator Measurement Tables and the SSIP Phase II OSEP Guidance and Review Tool, which call for the evaluation of implementation as well as outcomes.

State Spotlight: Data Use Series

State Data Use Strategies: Tennessee 

The Tennessee Department of Education faced significant challenges in evaluating and reporting the effects of its first year of SSIP implementation when its state test data became unavailable. This state spotlight presents how Tennessee selected one of two options to address the challenge.