The regional committees, which are made up of parents, local education agency representatives, educators, business executives, and researchers, are charged with carrying out an educational needs assessment and recommending technical assistance priorities in their region.
The committees’ advice will assist the U.S. Department of Education in establishing funding priorities for new comprehensive technical assistance centers and regional educational laboratories that will help state education agencies, school districts and schools to implement the goals of NCLB.
“Dr. Marple’s participation on this regional committee will be a true asset to the WVDE when it provides the needed technical assistance to low-achieving schools,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart.
Members of the committees are not expected to speak for the organizations and interest groups they represent, but rather to solicit input and comment from stakeholders across the region to ensure that the views of parents, teachers, administrators and others are heard.
Members of the RAC for the Appalachian Region will gather information on the critical needs of elementary and secondary schools in the area and will prepare a report for the Secretary of Education by March 2005 that will address three primary concerns:
· The critical educational needs of states and local communities, particularly those related to improving school performance, student achievement, and implementing NCLB;
· The region’s technical assistance requirements to meet the needs of stakeholder groups;
· The opportunities for federally supported technical assistance services that could effectively meet ongoing and emerging education needs.
In conjunction with the work of other RACs, the Appalachian Regional Committee has developed a plan and schedule of activities to conduct a needs assessment. General information about the activities and events for the RACs is available at http://www.rac-ed.org, a website designed to aid the committees in collecting and disseminating information and in facilitating public meetings. The site is public, but registered members will be able to provide input online, view and listen to three regional online public meetings, and receive e-bulletins with updates on regional information and events.
In addition to the use of the website, members of the Appalachian Regional Committee will plan to gather information and engage widespread public participation in several ways: virtual hearings and focus groups will allow committee members to hear from key stakeholders in the region, including teachers, parents, and policymakers. Subcommittees and committee members who represent these groups will solicit advice and opinions from colleagues and constituents within their states and localities. Scheduled forums for the public, as well as informal meetings arranged by individual members of the RAC, are aimed at complementing the overall mission of the committee and providing data for its March report.
Members of the public who do not wish to register and participate in web-based forums or discussion groups can provide comments and input to this process by contacting the CNA Corporation, based in Alexandria, VA, which is supporting the Regional Advisory Committee effort.
RAC Support Office The CNA Corporation 4825 Mark Center Drive Alexandria, VA 22311-1850