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The Readiness Centers Network (RCN) is promoting and supporting the development of effective partnerships among the entities that are managing and operating six Readiness Centers in Massachusetts.

Primary Functions

  • Disseminate information about best practices and replicable professional development, instructional, and other educational models to the regional partners for the Readiness Centers and other stakeholders across the state

  • Establish mechanisms that will promote effective and consistent communication among the regional partners

  • Support the development and implementation of strategies that can address common goals across the regions (including increasing the quality, alignment, and coherence of professional development and instructional services; allocating existing resources more efficiently and effectively; and leveraging existing relationships and developing new partnerships among stakeholders to achieve the primary goals of the Readiness Centers initiative)

  • Support the assessment of progress to date, both with regard to the establishment of the Readiness Centers and the impact of services and activities on student, educator, and other outcomes

The RCN is also serving as the primary system through which the Executive Office of Education (EOE) and the Departments of Early Education and Care (EEC), Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), and Higher Education (DHE) are providing technical assistance and support to the regional partners.

Leadership and Membership

The RCN was established and is being managed by the EOE with the support of several partners: representatives from EEC, ESE, and DHE; Carol Keirstead, RMC Research Corporation; Jan Phlegar, Learning Innovations at WestEd; and Frederick Clark, the Standing Committee on Professional Education (SCOPE) for the Council of State College Presidents.

The members of the RCN include representatives from the regional partners for the Readiness Centers, including but not limited to members of the governing boards or executive committees for each region, and the Executive Director for each Readiness Center. Each region must be represented by a diverse array of stakeholders from early education and care, elementary and secondary education, and higher education. Representatives from the EOE, EEC, ESE, DHE, and SCOPE are also serving as members of the RCN.


Roles and Responsibilities of the State Partners

To oversee the establishment and management of the RCN and ensure that stated goals are being achieved, the EOE (in collaboration with state and regional partners) is identifying evolving priorities, defining and coordinating the efforts of the contributing partners, convening the regional partners on a regular basis, and coordinating the delivery of statewide technical assistance and support. In addition, the EOE is actively seeking fiscal and other resources to sustain the Readiness Centers initiative in the short- and long-term.

EEC, ESE, and DHE are supporting the RCN by providing information related to early education and care, elementary and secondary education, and higher education respectively to the regional partners as needed or requested; and working in collaboration with the EOE to achieve stated goals.

Carol Keirstead and Jan Phlegar are supporting the RCN by providing technical assistance to EOE staff members (and EEC, ESE, and DHE staff members as appropriate), assisting with the design of initial RCN meetings, facilitating/documenting RCN meetings, and disseminating the proceedings and products to all participants.

SCOPE is supporting the RCN by leveraging existing partnerships among the state colleges to advance the goals of the Readiness Centers initiative, contributing to the development of a common rubric to evaluate professional development activities, and contributing to the creation and maintenance of the RCN website that will provide information and also link proposed websites for the Readiness Centers. SCOPE will also support the organization of a statewide annual research and practice conference for multiple stakeholders.

The outcomes have included the development of a cohesive vision for the Readiness Centers initiative, increased collaboration among the regional partners and state agencies, the development of strategic plans for meeting the goals of the Readiness Centers initiative and the RCN, and the creation of preliminary outcomes and measures to guide the first phase of implementation.

Schedule of RCN Meetings

The EOE convened the first RCN meeting on Friday, November 13, 2009, and subsequent meetings were convened in December 2009 and also March and April 2010.

The EOE will convene at least three RCN meetings per year, and will also organize an annual conference. In addition, in collaboration with the EEC, ESE, DHE, and other partners, the EOE will continue to disseminate information (including guidance documents and information about best practices) to the RCN members as appropriate.

For more information about the RCN, please contact Saeyun Lee in the EOE at saeyun.lee@state.ma.us.