Rebecca Bates, a senior technical assistance consultant at AIR, has been a teacher leader and technical assistance provider for over 20 years. Prior to joining AIR, Rebecca taught in both rural and suburban settings in Iowa, Illinois, Alaska, and Oregon. Her extensive experience provides a strong foundation for understanding state, regional, and local education systems and fostered relationships with regional experts and leaders. In her current role with the Midwest Comprehensive Center, Bates uses her experience in the region and content expertise in literacy, evidence-based practices, improving standards, and standards implementation to help state education agencies identify high-leverage problems. Specifically, she has supported Iowa in developing and implementing a consistent process to revise content standards. She further supported the implementation of Iowa English Language Arts standards by working with the statewide literacy leadership team to develop implementation plans, identify evidence-based practices, and determine professional development needs. In Minnesota, Bates supported the development of an online standards portal. Bates has supported engaging diverse stakeholders to provide feedback on the portal, identifying evidence-based practices that cross multiple content areas, developing tools for schools and teachers to self-assess readiness for standards implementation and developing a continuous improvement process to ensure that the portal will continue to support effective instruction. The standards portal is a key mechanism that will be used to implement policies, programs and practices that systematically impact teaching, learning, and assessment and support equitable access to effective instruction for all students.
As a technical assistance provider for both the Midwest Comprehensive Center and the Striving Reader Comprehensive Literacy grant, Bates values and supports meaningful collaboration with other U.S. Department of Education-funded technical assistance providers. Through this work, Bates regularly collaborates with colleagues from different organizations to align support to states, providing opportunities for states to connect around common needs by forming and facilitating cross-state communities of practice.
As a certified project management professional, Bates uses her expertise to build the capacity of states to develop plans and manage projects. For example, she has supported the Minnesota Department of Education in using online project management platforms to build a shared responsibility for meeting project milestones and tracking project process. The Minnesota Department of Education adopted the project plan development and monitoring techniques she modeled for internal work.