All of us in the Parent Center network have a common list of priority topics we are expected to address. This list of topics—-14 in all—-comes to us from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. Many of the topics are already quite familiar to us. Others…. not so much.
These topics are explicitly identified in many recent RFPs from OSEP, including the CPIR’s own. That’s why you’ll be hearing more from CPIR on these priority topics. We are creating stand-alone resource pages, here on the Hub, to identify tools and products that Parent Centers can use to build their capacity in the topic area and share information about the topic with the families they serve. The topics linked in the list of priorities below are the pages we’ve created to date.
Our Priority Topics
- Evidence-based education practices that improve early learning outcomes
- Evidence-based education practices that improve school-aged outcomes
- Evidence-based education practices that improve postsecondary outcomes
- College- and career-ready standards
- College- and career-ready assessments
- School reform efforts to improve student achievement and increase graduation rates
- The use of data to inform instruction
- The use of data to advance school reform efforts
- Best practices in outreach
- Best practices in family-centered services
- Best practices in self-advocacy skill building
- Best practices in nonprofit management
- Best practices in the use of technology in service provision
- Best practices in the use of technology in nonprofit management
That’s quite a list, isn’t it? But we’ll tackle it together!
Addressing the Topics
As OSEP has pointed out, its recent requests for applications (RFA) for the Parent Center network differentiate how these topics will be addressed by the CPIR, the regional PTACs, and the Native American PTAC.
The CPIR helps PTIs and CPRCs increase their knowledge of these 14 items via universal technical assistance. This includes identifying resources on these topics, including them in the CPIR’s newsletter and in the Resource Library, and helping Parent Centers to use the resources with staff and the families they serve.
The regional PTACs help the PTIs and CPRC in their individual regions increase capacity to address these topics through universal technical assistance and targeted TA. Intensive TA may also be provided in certain circumstances.
The Native American PTAC helps the PTIs and CPRCS nationally to increase their knowledge and capacity around the first 11 priorities, specifically with Native American families and youth. The NAPTAC may provide universal, targeted, and intensive TA to Parent Centers, as befits their needs.
Wondering what the differences are between universal, targeted, and intensive TA? Here’s an explanation, as given by OSEP.