National Evaluation of the Comprehensive Technical Assistance Centers

Official Title
National Evaluation of the Comprehensive Technical Assistance Centers
United States
10/2013 – 9/2018
Mixed Method Evaluations
Surveys & Data Collection
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences
In-depth Interviews
Qualitative Data Analysis
Quantitative Data Analysis
Survey Methodology

IMPAQ is examining the design, implementation, and outcomes of the 22 Comprehensive Technical Assistance Centers. This review includes the Content Centers and Regional Centers, both important sources of technical assistance for state education agencies (SEAs).

The evaluation focuses on the Centers’ charge to deliver technical assistance that builds SEAs’ capacity to carry out their mandates, including the implementation of educational reforms in their states. For an in-depth examination of capacity-building processes, the implementation and outcomes components of the evaluation focus on the Centers’ work with SEAs in two areas: teacher/leader effectiveness and early learning. Our evaluation will add to prior evaluations of the Comprehensive Centers, producing a more nuanced understanding of the Centers’ work and informing future guidance. 

Our combination of in-depth interviews, surveys, and document reviews provides an understanding of the capacity-building definitions and theories of action that underlie the Centers’ work as well as whether and how these concepts are operationalized. Our interviews with Center staff and technical assistance recipients examine the design of the work as well as the implementation and outcomes of projects in the two priority areas. We are also performing annual surveys of Center staff and technical assistance recipients, collecting Center activity data in the two areas, and developing project profiles that illustrate the Centers’ capacity-building process.

This project builds on many of our past educational evaluations as well as on our staff’s expertise in multi-method research and knowledge of state educational policy through work with Regional Educational Laboratories. Our large team of expert researchers has decades of experience in educational evaluation, education policy, qualitative methods, and survey research.