Overview of CCEE’s Direct Technical Assistance


The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) is a statewide agency created by the Legislature to help deliver on California’s promise for advancing pupil achievement through a quality, equitable education for every student. CCEE is a team of experienced educators, researchers, and facilitators, who are passionate about ensuring that each and every student in California receives a high-quality education. We focus on positive systemic changes that produce sustainable outcomes for all students. Designed to “advise and assist,” CCEE does not carry out compliance related functions. Instead, CCEE serves as a strategic thought partner working alongside educators to listen, identify goals and needs, promote innovative thinking, and jointly solve problems. With an equity-oriented perspective and a focus on continuous improvement and evidence-based practices, CCEE’s Theory of Action posits this capacity building as the driver of sustained improvements in student outcomes. CCEE’s Theory of Action relies on collaborating with System of Support partners (e.g., county offices of education, statewide associations, and stakeholder groups) to support high need local education agencies (LEAs) in building this capacity.

CCEE Theory of Action as Strategic Frame 2

The Direct Technical Assistance (DTA) process provides tailored instructional support at the local level. We do this by teaming with county offices of education (COEs) and other expert resources to build the capacity of individual local education agencies (LEAs) through the DTA process. Within this integrated, highly collaborative approach, we focus on key areas and provide wraparound assistance such as analyzing and addressing existing challenges to help identify and develop new opportunities. CCEE engages LEAs in utilizing cycles of improvement using a Plan, Do, Study, Act, and repeat model to champion two ways that drive change for attaining pupil achievement goals:

  • Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve outcomes, services, or processes. These efforts can achieve incremental improvement over time or breakthrough improvement all at once.

  • Innovation sprints seek to shape, test, and adapt ideas until we have found sufficient evidence that they will work. Thus, most decisions are reversible and should be made quickly.

We support local education agencies with county offices of education through the three primary Modes of Engagement, which are rooted in continuous improvement processes. Our role is to advise and assist, working to build capacity and move toward a gradual release of support.

CCEE Modes of Engagement


The CCEE Theory of Action informs the direct technical assistance provided to districts with significant academic and fiscal challenges. The CCEE Direct Technical Assistance framework includes:

If the CCEE


CCEE’s work with school districts and local education agencies can be initiated in more than one way, as outlined in section 52074 of the California Education Code. The pathways to DTA are as follows and descriptions can be found on the CCEE website, click here to read more.

  • Primary DTA Pathway
    The primary pathway to direct technical assistance is through the California System of Support. A local school district should first consult and work with its county office of education (COE). The COE will consider the request and may confer with the regional geographic lead agency to determine the right kind of support. If the COE and the geographic lead agree the district needs CCEE’s advice and assistance, then CCEE can engage with and consider offering direct technical assistance to the school district at no cost.

  • Wraparound Support
    Under Education Code 52074(g)(2)(a): If a school district receives an emergency apportionment pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 41320) of Chapter 3 of Part 24 of Division 3, the school district shall be deemed to have been referred to the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (previously AB 1840).

  • Continuum of Support
    The Continuum of Support also referred to as SIR+ Support, falls within California’s System of Support. Education Code 52072(b)(1) states that if a school district meets the criteria established pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 52064.5 (CA School Dashboard) whereby three or more pupil subgroups identified pursuant to Section 52052 did not make progress in three out of four consecutive school years based on the CA School Dashboard they are eligible for this support from CCEE.

  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI)
    The Superintendent determines the advice and assistance of the CCEE is necessary to support an LEA. Education Code 52074(g)(1)(B): If the Superintendent determines that the advice and assistance of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence is necessary to help the school district, county superintendent of schools, or charter school accomplish the goals set forth in the local control and accountability plan adopted pursuant to this article.

  • Fee for Service
    An LEA can access CCEE’s DTA services for a fee. CCEE provides support through its Modes of Engagement. Education Code 52074(g)(3): A school district, county office of education, or charter school that requests the advice and assistance of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence shall reimburse the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence for the cost of those services pursuant to authority provided in the annual Budget Act.


CCEE is currently engaged with six school districts, per statute, and in consultation with the county offices of education. While two districts were referred to CCEE based on their receiving an emergency apportionment (Ed. Code Section 52074 (AB 1840)), four districts were identified for a continuum of support, as a result of their California School Dashboard results over three years 2017- 2019 (Ed. Code Section 52064.5).

Systemic Instructional Review


When an LEA is experiencing chronic systemic challenges it often requires assistance to uncover the deep root causes and create a plan for systemic changes. With sustainable capacity building as a priority, the CCEE Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) creates a structured focus on instruction and continuous improvement. The SIR was developed based on research and practice that have been utilized by other states and LEAs within and outside California to improve instructional quality and pupil achievement. Twelve instructional components are used to collect and analyze data to determine how to best support the LEA priorities in attaining its pupil achievement goals. These twelve components, discussed in greater detail below, have been identified as key, intertwined but distinct, elements that contribute to the functioning of an LEAs instructional system.

The purpose of a SIR is to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) in the implementation of instructional initiatives and practices of a local education agency performed through a series of data collection activities. The SIR culminates in recommended action steps that are intended to serve the district as a roadmap to systemic instructional improvement and to ultimately align with other district plans and strategic vision. CCEE provides ongoing progress monitoring of the recommended action steps, as well as ongoing support as needed. The ongoing support is determined with input from the local education agency and county office of education to ensure that resources within the Statewide System of Support are leveraged. To learn more about the CCEE Systemic Instructional Review visit our website.


The purpose of progress monitoring is to assist the LEA to measure the rates of improvement or progress toward the LEAs implementation of the recommended actions, while also supporting the LEA in utilizing continuous improvement cycles that lead to the increase of student outcomes. The LEA, along with CCEE and the COE engage in progress monitoring meetings a minimum of four times a year. The progress of LEAs is shared on the CCEE website and the progress updates are reported to the CCEE board and State Superintendent for Public Instruction as appropriate.


  1. Culture, Coherence, and the Planning Process
    The school district strongly values inclusivity and diversity. The culture of the district is unified in supporting and engaging every member of the school community.

  2. Curriculum, Learning, and Support
    The school district uses a standards-aligned curriculum and a comprehensive assessment system that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the learners in its community and meets the needs of all learners.

  3. Instructional Practice and Strategies
    The school district has implemented evidence based teaching methods that are rigorous, standards-aligned, culturally inclusive, and meet the needs of all learners.

  4. Social-Emotional and Behavioral Health and Development
    The school district supports the social-emotional and behavioral well-being of every learner through the curriculum, specific instructional practices and resources, and intentional modeling by adults in the school community.

  5. Assessment and Accountability
    The school district has a cohesive process to measure and analyze student data, which includes data on academic, behavior, and social-emotional learning. The data is used to support accountability and continuous improvement.

  6. Student and Family Engagement
    The school district practices two-way communication that reflects the cultural and linguistic needs of families in the community. The district uses resources and activities to promote student leadership and organizes active family and community engagement.

  7. School-based Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs)
    Every school in the district has educators organized into Instructional Leadership Teams that focus on professional learning and make culturally responsive, data-driven decisions to design instruction for all students.

  8. Administrative Coaching and Leadership
    The school district has systems in place across the district to support, promote, and enhance a collaborative culture for administrator effectiveness in management and instructional leadership.

  9. Professional Learning and Coaching
    The school district has a data-driven professional learning plan focused on effective teaching methods that improve student academic, social-emotional, and behavioral learning.

  10. Data Management and Use and Student Information Systems
    The school district effectively uses a student information system that stores and tracks all student data, including grades, attendance, and discipline.

  11. District and Leadership Capacity
    The school district has a multi-level organizational structure that ensures goals related to the district’s overarching mission and vision are aligned. Each member of the school and district leadership is supported in fulfilling their role.

  12. Governance Support with Instruction
    The school district’s governing board has clearly established written policies, processes, and protocols to help implement robust instructional practices and educational supports for every student.


The IUSD Systemic Instructional Review Report was completed in late April 2019. Shortly after the completion of the IUSD SIR report, CCEE provided support to IUSD by aligning Fiscal Crisis and Management Team (FCMAT) pupil achievement actions to the SIR actions. Four themes emerged 1) culture, coherence, and systemness 2) curriculum, instruction, and assessment 3) accountability, and 4) professional learning.


IUSD SIR Action Implementation Status

With the 66 total recommended actions for IUSD, the district has completed 19 of the recommended actions. IUSD is actively working to implement another 41 of the actions and has not yet started six of the actions. Overall, IUSD has completed or was actively working on 91% of the recommended actions over the last two years. CCEE conducted a progress monitoring quarterly update of IUSD in mid-June 2021. In this quarterly update, IUSD showed progress in the areas of use of cycles of inquiry at the central office and principal levels, supporting the continued focus on literacy resulting in increased alignment of ELA and math professional learning plans. In addition, schools are being held accountable by the Educational Services team regarding student assessments and have increased completion rates as evidenced by 85% of students completing the mid-year literacy assessments. During the pandemic, IUSD implemented revised instructional guides to support a focus on priority standards in ELA and math. This allowed for a continued focus on literacy and numeracy in alignment with the IUSD Strategic Plan and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). These concerted efforts resulted in 93% of students completing the 2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment virtually. In addition, approximately 85% of past due Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) were completed showing a concerted effort to maintain compliance during the pandemic, but to prioritize access to services for the students with disabilities student group.

Weaknesses for IUSD vary based on the degree of implementation; for example, accountability structures exist but are loosely outlined. While being utilized in some areas, the cycle of inquiry is still seen as a compliance type of activity, and the learning taking place in professional development has not yet consistently been translated to systemic implementation of classroom practices across the district.

Areas of opportunity identified result from the IUSD community and Los Angeles County Office of Education leadership working together to address systems and structural needs in the district. IUSD’s areas of opportunity include utilizing the current IUSD cycle of inquiry to reinforce effective data practices, build a data-informed culture, and create self-accountability throughout IUSD. In addition, the building of capacity of the central office has been essential to improve the school support, especially as the implementation of effective instructional practices as every school site is accelerated in the coming year. CCEE’s support of these efforts will continue to be critical to ensure consistent and sustainable systems for improving pupil achievement.

A primary threat to the IUSD SIR action implementation is that IUSD is reaching a plateau in actions that are in progress. This is mainly due to the lack of clarity in an instructional plan that is grounded in the implementation of a multi-tiered approach to ensure quality instruction and intervention in academics, social-emotional, and attendance is in place. Additionally, IUSD must prioritize the development of a multi-tiered approach to support school principals and instructional leadership teams at every school site.

To further support sustainability and capacity building, CCEE has provided support to IUSD through ongoing coaching for the Executive Director, Elementary Director, English Learner Director, and the Instructional Coaches. Coaching conversations have included organizing for effort, developing professional learning, strategic planning and aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment. CCEE professional experts have also provided support in the area of data analysis, cycles of inquiry, and establishing performance indicators. In the area of special education, CCEE staff have provided support and guidance in the areas of compliance to State and Federal requirements, alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for students with disabilities, and reorganization.

Lastly, CCEE currently funds two full-time employees (FTEs), one Director for special education and one Director to support the analysis of data and equity. A new position, Director of Instructional Strategy and Continuous Improvement will be funded for the upcoming school year. This position will support IUSD in their implementation and progress monitoring of SIR and FCMAT actions to improve pupil achievement. LACOE also provides two FTEs to support data organization and analysis and a Director of Student Support Services to support the State Administrator. All of these positions work in collaboration with the IUSD leadership team to ensure capacity is built to further develop and sustain a strong foundation in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.


CCEE has advised IUSD to focus on developing and implementing an instructional action plan grounded in the comprehensive Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework and contains instructional expectations built on student graduate competencies and content standards, pupil achievement targets, and identifies instructional strategies for meeting the expectations and targets. Then, based on this instructional plan, develop a one-year professional development plan that provides professional learning at the school sites to address and provide support in the implementation of: multi-tiered systems of support for students and schools, and consistent utilization of cycles of inquiry, to inform the instructional coaches, ILTs, and principals in their roles to support and implement quality instruction.