National Center for School Reform & Improvement Is SEDL's Newest Project and Partnership

December 20, 2004
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL), WestEd, and the Educational Development Center (EDC) have joined forces with Learning Point Associates to establish the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. Learning Point Associates, received a 1.5 million dollar contract from the US Department of Education to establish the center. The center will promote comprehensive school reform as a strategy to enhance school improvement efforts and student achievement As of November 30, 2004, it replaced the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform.

The four partner organizations are working to expand the clearinghouse to provide additional practical materials, tools, and services that support the implementation and evaluation of comprehensive school reform efforts. The materials, tools and, services—most of which will be online—will target those schools struggling to meet the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. For example, an “Ask the Expert” online service is currently under development. When up and running, the service will enable users to get answers to their questions about school reform and improvement. Also in the works are online workshops and self-study modules.

SEDL is responsible for developing the Comprehensive School Reform Web site (, which will be the primary mechanism for providing scientifically based research and assistance. SEDL is also building the research database and databases for other information that will provide much of the content to the site.

According to Joan Buttram, SEDL’s chief operating officer, “The partnership is a wonderful opportunity for SEDL to continue its work in helping educators, policymakers, and researchers access and use cutting-edge research to improve schools for all children.”

Hugh Burkett, PhD, is director of the Center, which is housed at Learning Point Associates’ Washington, D.C. office. Burkett is a nationally recognized expert on issues related to comprehensive school reform and turning around low-performing schools. He has 36 years of education experience as a teacher and administrator and most recently worked for the US Department of Education.

About SEDL

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit