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Evaluating the Region 16 Comprehensive Center


  • The Region 16 Comprehensive Center advances educational outcomes in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Abt is using a participatory approach to evaluate measures of success co-developed by Region 16’s consortium of State Education Agencies, Educational Service Districts, and their Tribal Advisory.
  • The evaluation illuminates system-level changes achieved by the Center's multi-year projects.
The Challenge

The U.S. Department of Education has instituted 19 Comprehensive Centers, each committed to advancing educational outcomes for all students. The Centers work primarily with State Education Agencies (SEA) to build capacity in four areas: human, organizational, policy, and resources. The overarching mission is to elevate the quality and equity of education, bridging gaps and enhancing outcomes across state-identified priority initiatives. In this pursuit, the Region 16 Comprehensive Center (R16CC) plays a pivotal role serving Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and over 200 Tribes.

Abt is proud to partner with Region 16’s consortium of 29 Educational Service Districts (ECDs) to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of R16CC’s Year 4 and Year 5 efforts. We are also producing impact stories in digital and text formats for distribution across the region.

The Approach

R16CC is a strong Center with a shared and distributed leadership model as its foundation. Working in collaboration, members of the Tribal Advisory Board, SEAs, ESDs, and Local Education Agencies open pathways to hear the voices of students and families from communities historically underserved. This approach assists SEAs to build a strengths-based perspective of historically marginalized students and their families to inform critical work focused on equity, tribal sovereignty, and school improvement.

For the evaluation, the Abt team uses methodologies that begin with place-based relevance and take a culturally respectful approach to gathering data that reflects diverse cultures, regions, and knowledge. For example, during focus groups and interviews, we shift power to the interviewee to inquire, explore, reflect, and guide the conversation. Our evaluation team firmly believes in community-centered evaluation approaches that prioritize learning while determining impact, seeking authentic community engagement and integration of persons with lived expertise to ensure relevance and utility.

The Results

R16CC's focus is collective impact through stewardship that centers students and families whom the education system has not successfully supported. The Abt team illuminates the systems-level changes within the education ecosystem stemming from R16CC’s multi-year projects. This collective action has helped create the conditions required for all children to succeed.

Our Experts

Janet V. Gordon, Ed. D.

Janet V. Gordon, Ed. D.

Principal Associate
Karen Gray-Adams, Ph.D.

Karen Gray-Adams, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
Jenna Scott, Ph.D.

Jenna Scott, Ph.D.

Client Account Lead, Education