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Useful Links

The National High School Center is dedicated to providing a central location for resources regarding high school improvement. Below, you will find links to organizations that provide useful information regarding current and emerging issues related to high school improvement.

Regional Comprehensive Centers

The 16 Regional Comprehensive Centers were established by the U.S. Department of Education to provide states with technical assistance centers to help schools and districts close achievement gaps and effectively implement the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

Content Centers

The National High School Center is part of a network of five national Content Centers which provide technical assistance to the Regional Comprehensive Centers and cover a variety of issues related to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and school improvement:

Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center
The Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center implements, evaluates, and improves assessment and accountability systems so that states and districts can reach the NCLB goal of academic proficiency for all students.

Center on Innovation and Improvement
The Center on Innovation and Improvement’s mission is to provide information, tools, and training to the Regional Comprehensive Centers so they can help states improve student learning by assisting districts and schools in their improvement; implementing and supporting the choice provisions of NCLB; increasing the number and quality of charter schools; and ensuring equitable participation of private school students and teachers in federal programs for which they are eligible.

Center on Instruction
The Center on Instruction supports the Regional Comprehensive Centers as they serve state education leaders in the work of helping schools and districts meet the goals of NCLB – to close the achievement gap and improve teaching and learning for all students. The Center on Instruction offers information on NCLB and best practices in reading, math, science, Special Education, and ELL instruction; syntheses of recent scientific research on instruction; and opportunities for professional development.

National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality is the premier national resource to which the Regional Comprehensive Centers, states, and other education stakeholders turn for strengthening the quality of teaching—especially in high-poverty, low-performing, and hard-to-staff schools—and for finding guidance in addressing specific needs, thereby ensuring highly qualified teachers are serving students with special needs.

U.S. Department of Education Related Links

U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education promotes educational excellence for all Americans. Its Web site provides links to reports on all aspects of the organization’s work, including student aid, legislation and policy, statistics, and areas of specific interest to students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

No Child Left Behind

The U.S. Department of Education's Web site provides information about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was signed into law January 8, 2002. It includes an overview, an A-Z index, a map of how NCLB makes a difference in each state, and information on stronger accountability, proven methods, and choices for parents.

Office of Special Education Programs
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
The mission of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) is to promote academic excellence, to enhance educational opportunities and equity for all of America's children and families, and to improve the quality of teaching and learning by providing leadership, technical assistance, and financial support.

What Works Clearinghouse
The What Works Clearinghouse, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), provides educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education by collecting, screening, and identifying studies of the effectiveness of educational interventions. In September 2006, several Dropout Prevention reports were added to this Web site.

Resources Relating to Students with Disabilities

LD OnLine
LD OnLine seeks to help children and adults reach their full potential by providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about learning disabilities and ADHD. The site provides the parents and teachers of children with learning disabilities with accurate, authoritative information about learning disabilities so they can obtain the help they need, and offers information and resources on the transitions from school to college and from school to the workplace. LD OnLine is a national educational service of WETA-TV, the PBS station in Washington, D.C.

National Technical Assistance Center
The National Technical Assistance Center supports and coordinates Parent Training and Information Projects and community Parent Resource Centers under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

National Research Center on Learning Disabilities
The National Research Center on Learning Disabilities provides research and technical assistance related to learning disabilities.

Office of Special Education Programs Secondary Education and Transition Investments
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has made a number of investments designed to support the successful transition of students with disabilities from school to postsecondary education, employment and independent living. These include:

  • The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities aims to increase rates of school completion by students with disabilities, emphasizing dropout prevention for enrolled students and re-entry into education by students who have dropped out of school. The Center organizes and applies a network of multiple sources of knowledge and support, interacts and collaborates with key organizations and networks providing programs and professional services, and utilizes the expertise of key researchers and practitioners to offer complementary outreach activities and resources relevant to dropout prevention strategies. The Center is housed at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. (See http://www.dropoutprevention.org/NDPC-SD/index.htm)
  • National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) - This cooperative agreement was established to help states build capacity to support and improve transition planning, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in partnership with the Special Education Programs at Western Michigan University and Appalachian State University disseminate information and provide technical assistance on evidence-based practices, with an emphasis on building and sustaining state-level infrastructures of support and district-level demonstrations of effective transition methods for youth with disabilities. The goal of NSTTAC is to provide support for efficient and effective large-scale implementation and sustainability of evidence-based secondary transition interventions and models. (For more information see http://www.NSTTAC.org)
  • National Post-School Outcomes Center - Housed at the University of Oregon, this Center, in collaboration with state and national partners, develops and implements practical, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable strategies for states to collect and use outcome data to improve secondary, transition, and postsecondary school results. Newly funded in fiscal year 2004, the Center (a) builds on existing data requirements and extant knowledge about states' current efforts, and (b) develops and disseminates rigorous, yet practical, data collection and utilization strategies. The Center also maintains a user-friendly Web site; provides technical assistance to states and disseminates relevant information on strategies, approaches, and model procedures to be developed; facilitates consensus-building among parents and other stakeholders on outcomes to be measured via national meetings and forums; and collaborates with relevant Department of Education and other funded projects to maximize resources and deliver consistent information to states. (For more information, see http://www.psocenter.org)
  • Postsecondary Education Programs Network (PEPNet) - PEPNet is a national network of four Regional Postsecondary Education Centers for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: PEPNet--North; PEPNet--Northeast; PEPNet--South; and PEPNet--Midwest. The mission of PEPNet is to promote opportunities to coordinate and collaborate in creating effective technical assistance to postsecondary educational institutions providing access and accommodation to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The members of PEPNet develop and promote quality educational activities and outreach services through nationwide collaboration and information exchange. In addition, the PEPNet Resource Center serves as a clearinghouse for information and resources. (For more information, see the PEPNet Web site at http://www.pepnet.org/)
  • HEATH Resource Center - The George Washington University HEATH Resource Center is the OSEP-funded National Clearinghouse on Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities. The clearinghouse serves as an information exchange about educational support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, and opportunities at American campuses, vocational-technical schools, and other postsecondary training entities. (See http://www.heath.gwu.edu/)
  • National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) - NCSET was established as a technical assistance Center with activities that were National in scope, coordinated with other technical assistance and dissemination efforts, and aligned with other Federally-funded synthesis and research Centers and institutes. The goals of this Center were to: (1) Promote secondary education and transition models that integrate academic, career, and community-based learning; (2) Support State and local capacity building; (3) Promote systemic change by facilitating community-based linkages in the provision of transition services to students with disabilities; and (4) Translate research into practice by using technical assistance and dissemination mechanisms. (See the NCSET Web site at: http://www.ncset.org)

Third Party Resources*

Alliance for Excellent Education
The Alliance for Excellent Education is an advocacy organization that publishes issue and policy briefs to help shape local and federal education policy that improve student attainment.

Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
ACTE is the largest national association working to advance education and skills that prepare youth and adults for careers.

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
CCSSO is a non-profit advocacy and technical assistance organization made up of leaders of state departments of education.

Data Quality Campaign
The Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, DC based non-profit, focuses on utilizing student data to improve outcomes at all levels of the K-21 education system.

Grunwald Associates LLC
Grunwald Associates is an industry research firm that works on education policy.  They have recently published studies on Mobile Learning, Career and Technical Education, and High-Stakes Testing.

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
NASSP promotes excellence in school leadership and is composed of middle and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders in the United States and around the world.

National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)
NASDSE provides leadership focused on improving educational services and outcomes for children and youth with disabilities across the United States and abroad.

Volunteen Nation
Volunteen Nation is youth led non-profit dedicated to connecting students with volunteer opportunities in their area. Students can search their database for volunteer opportunities near them and educators andcommunitymembers can upload their organization's volunteer opportunities to the site.


*Please note: listing an organization does not necessarily imply endorsement of that group’s positions or resources.