It has been nearly five years since the current comprehensive center system began operating. During that time, the momentum for collaboration has been growing. On April 13 and 14, Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center Director Linda Miller attended the fifth annual Leveraging Resources Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together representatives from all 21 comprehensive centers, 10 equity assistance centers, and 46 centers from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) technical assistance and dissemination network. These 77 centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) explored ways to leverage resources and foster collaboration. Centers shared information and strategies related to collaborative activities and projects, and ED encouraged the centers to continue these efforts.

Thus far in 2010, the comprehensive center network has been involved in several collaborative projects. Response to intervention (RTI) is one area with considerable collaborative efforts.

The Center on Innovation & Improvement also has released a new resource this year. The Handbook on Effective Implementation of School Improvement Grants was a collaborative effort that involved the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, the National High School Center, the Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center, and the Center on Instruction.

Collaboration among technical assistance providers makes it possible to leverage resources and knowledge to provide consistent, quality services to our clients in the states and districts. Great Lakes West looks forward to many more collaborative efforts in the future. Do you see collaboration as a benefit or more work and why? How can those benefits be increased and risks be reduced?

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