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McREL selected to provide capacity building and technical assistance services to seven state departments of education over next five years

By October 3, 2019December 4th, 2019No Comments

October 3, 2019 | Denver, CO— McREL International today announced it has won competitive bids to become the primary manager of two of the U.S. Department of Education’s 19 Regional Comprehensive Centers located across the U.S. and in U.S. territories and freely associated states. Beginning October 1, 2019, and running through September 2024, McREL will operate the Region 11 center serving Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and the Region 12 center serving Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.

Working in partnership with state departments of education, the regional centers provide capacity-building and intensive technical assistance services and help to implement, scale, and sustain evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions that support improved educator and student outcomes.

McREL has managed the North Central Comprehensive Center, serving Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, since 2012. In the new award cycle, this center will be renamed Region 11. McREL’s Joe Simpson will be based in Wyoming and will serve as director of the Region 11 Center.

“In the past, the Comprehensive Centers worked on several initiatives in each state, and an exciting change this time around is that states can identify a single ‘high-leverage problem’ that they need help with and go deep on it, creating opportunities to show significant outcomes to the public,” Simpson said. “In North Dakota we’ll focus on schools that have been targeted for support. In South Dakota we’ll help Indian school communities to build a framework for improvement. In Wyoming, K–3 reading will be the emphasis. And in Nebraska we’ll help educators identify open-source social studies resources that are of high quality and aligned with state standards.”

Dale Lewis, based in McREL’s Denver office, will direct Region 12. The center’s work in Kansas will focus on redesigning schools at all levels to help students develop a broad array of academic and non-academic competencies. In Missouri, the center will help address student underperformance by focusing on strengthening school leadership. The center’s emphasis in Colorado is currently under discussion with that state’s education department.

“These centers help students by providing a way for local educators to connect with national resources and best practices,” Lewis said. “Our role is to help the states turn a great idea into real-world results, and I’m excited to get started.”

In addition to managing Regions 11 and 12, McREL will support the work of organizations managing Region 3 (serving Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Region 18 (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, and Palau), and Region 19 (American Samoa, Hawai’i, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands) as a subcontracted technical adviser or evaluator.


For more information, please contact:

Roger Fiedler, 303-632-5579,

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.