Financed and supervised by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) is an educational initiative that was started to provide technical support and facilitate professional development of students in schools. The project was designed to eliminate the achievement gap between students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their peers, and this way decreasing the need for special education. The project dealt with ways to improve culturally responsive practices, early intervention, literacy, and positive behavioral supports.
Providing support to state and local school systems and implementing practices designed to ensure a quality, culturally responsive education for all students, regardless their origin and backgrounds.
In order to facilitate the implementation of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act within the framework of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 NCCRESt set the following objectives:
- Develop educational practices and research their effectiveness based on improvements in academic performance of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- Study and apply a variety of research-based practices for culturally and linguistically diverse students.
- Fuel the continued improvement in schools where a great number of culturally and linguistically diverse students study through various initiatives and activities that include technical assistance plans, partnerships with various technical assistance networks, local and statewide leadership academies, etc.
- Encourage a national discussion across local, professional practice on the issue of improving academic performance of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
- Design educational products, such as research articles, policy briefs, and other forms of public communication activities that notify the general public about breakthroughs and positive change in teaching and school organizational practices that ensure improved academic performance for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.