The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is one of 15 regional comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education for the October 2012–September 2019 grant cycle of the Comprehensive Centers Program. The centers provided capacity-building technical assistance to state education agencies (SEAs) in their implementation and administration of programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, reauthorized in 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
During the grant period, SECC worked closely with SEAs in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to support their efforts to implement, scale up, and sustain initiatives statewide and to lead and support their school districts and schools in using evidence-based policies, practices, programs, and interventions to improve student outcomes. A selection of the center’s state-based projects and key resources are featured below. Partners in SECC’s work included AIR and RMC Research Corporation.
Alabama Educator Effectiveness
The SECC assisted the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) in implementing multiple metric educator evaluation systems that meet federal ESSA requirements. The center provided content expertise and evidence-based resources for guiding the development of a statewide model for teacher and leader evaluation, including defining teacher and leader effectiveness, determining metrics of effectiveness, and aligning educator evaluation outcomes with professional learning. These efforts increased SEA capacity to measure teacher and leader effectiveness and its capacity to align teacher and leader professional learning needs with evaluation outcomes.
Georgia College and Career Pathways: Employability Skills Task Force Recommendations
The SECC assisted the Georgia Department of Education through technical expertise and support to the CTAE staff in the implementation of the department's career pathways. Also, the SECC and the College & Career Readiness & Success Center supported the implementation of employability skills and quality work-based learning opportunities for all students. The task force crafted three overarching recommendations and eight goals to address the main challenges in ensuring opportunities for every student to develop the skills needed to be successful in careers and life. For each of the goals, the group also drafted implementation strategies for key stakeholders.
Mississippi Talent Management
To address the state’s needs for talent management, SECC provided evidence-based resources and professional learning materials to inform district- and state-developed plans to increase teacher recruitment and retention. As part of the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) at AIR, SECC delivered professional learning on key topics related to recruiting, developing, and maintaining high-quality teachers. The center also provided technical assistance support for the July 2018 Male Educators of Color Conference. This convening was an outcome of Mississippi’s goal to advance a more diverse educator workforce. SECC’s work with Mississippi helped to improve the state’s organizational structures and processes through aligned state- and district-level plans to address talent management and provided improved tools to guide preparation of diverse-learner ready teachers.
North Carolina Instructional Improvement Systems
The SECC worked with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) staff to strengthen the Global Ready education program through revised district and school renewal procedures and support for educators pursuing certification, as informed by qualitative data collection and analysis. The center provided technical assistance on qualitative data collection and used the data to inform the refinement of the Global Ready district and school renewal applications. To hear from NCDPI staff regarding SECC support for statewide education initiatives, access this video, which was created by SECC.
The SECC worked with the South Carolina Department of Education's (SCDE) early childhood staff to provide appropriate school readiness resources and services to early childhood stakeholders and program providers. The center assisted SCDE with its efforts to develop a statewide comprehensive literacy plan, including guidance with the state’s multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework and the provision of statewide training for educators.
Southeast Comprehensive Center Impact Stories (2019)
The SECC developed a series of impact stories to highlight key technical assistance support and positive outcomes related to improving teaching, learning, and capacity building in the states it served.
- Alabama State Plan for Science and Mathematics (PDF)
- Boosting North Carolina School Turnaround Efforts (PDF)
- Georgia College and Career Pathways (PDF)
- North Carolina Partnership Supports Stronger Teaching for English Learners (PDF)
- South Carolina Educator Effectiveness (PDF)
- To Pre- or Not to Pre-: Children in Mississippi Gain Pre-K Option (PDF)
Understanding Educational Inequality by Revisiting Civil Rights History (2018)
In November 2018, a group of AIR staff and clients participated in a civil rights learning journey across the South to better understand how the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s affects educational opportunities today. Participants retraced parts of the original journey from Jackson, Mississippi to Birmingham, Alabama, with civil rights leader Roscoe Jones Sr. View the photo essay and the video >>
South Carolina Expanded ADEPT Survey and Focus Groups: Findings Report (2018)
The South Carolina Department of Education’s ADEPT (Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching) system is the vehicle for teacher evaluation, licensure, and training in the state. The SECC assisted with determining educator experiences and perspectives relevant to implementation of the student learning objectives process, a component of the ADEPT system.
- South Carolina Expanded ADEPT Survey and Focus Groups: Findings Report (PDF)
- South Carolina Educator Effectiveness (PDF)
Best Practices, Strategies, and Recommendations for Improving School Climate and Culture (2018)
This SECC report (PDF) summarizes 15 resources, which describe evidence-based approaches and interventions that may help to improve school climate and culture. Specific best practices, strategies, and recommendations are detailed, and links to the resources are included in the summaries.
SECC College and Career Readiness Videos
These videos were created in collaboration with the SECC to support states, schools, and teachers in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The videos were based on states' needs for professional development support for the implementation of the Standards.