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Update: New Advisory Committees Will Shape Next-Gen Assistance Centers

Update: A prior version of this story incorrectly cited Tracy Dell'Angela, IES spokesman, as saying John Easton was interested in exploring new roles in the next iteration of the centers. She was referring to the regional education labs rather than the comprehensive centers.
As a reminder, educators who want to apply to be nominated for the new advisory committees must apply by January 5, 2011. They can send an email to [email protected]

Educators, school and district leaders can shape how federal education officials will work with states and districts by participating in a six-month project to guide the next iteration of the federal comprehensive centers.

The Education Department announced it is creating 10 new regional advisory committees within each Regional Education Laboratory area, which will operate for the six-month project. Members will quiz the gamut of education stakeholders —state education chiefs, district and school administrators, teachers, librarians, business people and parents—on the education research and technical assistance needs of the area.

The 12-member committees will meet five times in the next five months before submitting needs assessments and recommendations on the next contracts for federal comprehensive centers, which provide technical assistance to educators on various education topics. The existing centers' contracts have been extended through 2011.

These committees will influence future comprehensive center contracts, but it remains to be seen how much influence the reports will have in the simultaneous contract discussions for the next set of regional education laboratories. However, the broader community involvement is certainly in line with Easton's newly adopted research priorities.

Educators who want to participate can apply to be nominated as one of 12 on each regional committee. Members can include urban or rural teachers and administrators, education researchers and higher education faculty in education or other subjects, parents, school board members or other community leaders. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will select members based on their technical and professional experience, knowledge of the issues and good judgment.

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