Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

System Challenge: Governance

Consider this scenario...

A number of the local entities in your state are not implementing state regulations or other policies consistently. When you approach these local entities about noncompliance, some question the authority of the state to require them to comply.

Sample Process:

Document Thumbnail: ECTA System Framework Self-Assessment

Being generally familiar with the System Framework Self-Assessment as a means to target needed changes, you review the PDF: Guidance Document and decide to convene a group of relevant stakeholders to complete the Self-Assessment for the Governance Component. This will provide baseline information about what aspects of your Governance system are strong and what areas should be improved.

In reviewing the Governance Component, your stakeholder group decides to focus their analysis on Subcomponent 3: Administrative Structures.

Screenshot: Self-Assessment (Excel Worksheet)

As a result, the Self-Assessment determined that Quality Indicator GV4 includes the elements of quality in need of improvement to respond to the challenge faced by your state. This will assist your state in responding to local programs questioning the state's authority to require locals to implement state regulations or other policies.

In completing the Self-Assessment, your stakeholder group identified the level of implementation for each of the Elements of Quality under Quality Indicator GV4 along with supporting evidence.

Your team uses the results of the Self-Assessment to identify what needs improvement to clearly delineate roles and responsibilities of all agencies and programs in implementing regulations and policies and what changes to existing administrative structures, if any, are needed. The information is used to help set priorities for your action planning and implementation.

Specifically, you determine that your policies and regulations are clear about the requirements that need to be implemented. However, the roles and responsibilities of the state, regional and local entities regarding enforcement and implementation are not clearly delineated. You decide to form a work group, including stakeholders from other state agencies, your provider community and families to incorporate clear language of the roles and responsibilities of entities at all levels of your system in your regulations and policies. You also decide to clarify language in your contracts with your local entities. Finally, you identify that you need to work with your partner state agencies to strengthen language in your interagency agreements.

In summary, the System Framework and the Self-Assessment are tools you can use to identify areas of improvement to enhance your system of services.

ECTA recommends you complete the Self-Assessment for the entire System Framework. But you may decide to complete the Governance component, or a specific Subcomponent, but always consider how the System Framework Components interact with each other. Remember, the components are not stand-alone. Even though your challenge is related to governance, other components may be impacted by your challenge as well (e.g. Accountability).

Don't hesitate to call on your TA providers for assistance in using the System Framework and Self-Assessment, including:

  • Stakeholder selection and communication
  • Stakeholder meeting facilitation
  • Priority selection of activities to address improvement
  • Action planning and implementation
  • Evaluation of state efforts

Finally, use the information provided in Considerations for Implementing System Change to help guide implementation of your improvement plan activities to improve your Governance system.

We are here to help!

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The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

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