The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Center for CSRI Home
Working with Technical Assistance Providers Print E-mail

In order to help ensure the viability and success of a whole-school reform program, schools partner with external providers—model developers and/or technical assistance providers. In each stage of the schoolwide reform process—planning, implementing or evaluating—these external providers can be a valuable resource for school faculty and administration. It is, therefore, important for schools to develop both a shared vision and collaborative relationship with external providers to strengthen their reform strategies’ chances for success.

The tools and resources provided below are designed to help school administration, staff, and faculty work effectively with external providers.

Evaluating Supplemental Educational Service Providers: Suggested Strategies for States, 2006         
The Center on Innovation and Improvement (CII) has released the second edition of this guidebook to assist state educational agencies in creating an effective evaluation system of supplemental educational service (SES) providers. The guidebook recommends that evaluation designs supplement an examination of student achievement to include performance domains such as customer satisfaction, and service delivery and compliance. The source contains suggested data sources, examples of questionnaires, and can help districts and SES providers better understand their role in the evaluation process.

Choosing an Education Contractor: A Guide to Assessing Financial and Organizational Capacity, 2006
This guide, developed by the Comprehensive School Reform Quality (CRSQ) Center in partnership with The Finance Project, provides state and local education agency staff with information on the importance of evaluating contractor quality by examining their financial viability and organizational capacity. The two sections in the guide on financial viability and organization capacity are organized by the key concepts of: questions to ask, documentation to look for, ideal financial and organizational characteristics of an education contractor, and red flags that could indicate problems with the quality of a potential contractor.

Guide to Working With External Providers, 2004
The guide is designed to provide a step-by-step approach to researching and selecting a high-quality provider, establishing an effective partnership agreement, and evaluating the success of the partnership.

Making Good Choices: Sustainable School Improvement, 2004
This booklet in the Making Good Choices series from North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) focuses on sustaining the school improvement effort. Geared for school and district leaders, it presents information on building commitment, developing capacity, finding time, increasing staff retention, and finding money for continuous school improvement. Also included is a list of additional resources (tools, software, and guidance) by topic.

A District Leader's Guide to Relationships that Support Systemic Change, 2003
The study from, School Communities That Work at Brown University provides insight into the relationship between reform support organizations (RSOs), intermediary organizations that bridge the gaps between schools, districts, and other agencies to support schools and districts engaged in systemic reform, and school districts.

Evaluating Supplemental Education Service Providers, 2004
This Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) guide is a brief explanation of service providers that references NCLB and includes a matrix of evaluative questions.

Making Good Choices: A Guide for Schools and Districts, 2002
This tool for planning and implementing school reform developed by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) helps schools select an externally developed reform model that meets their school needs. The appendices offer guiding checklists for and approaches to the selection of a model.

Making Good Choices: Districts Take the Lead, 2000
This North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) resource focuses on the school district role in facilitating the whole school reform process.  It was produced in order to help districts make CSR an integral part of their strategies for improving student achievement.  The guide presents five components that describe district reform efforts that support, shape, and enrich school improvement.