Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) addresses root causes of poverty at local, state and national levels by providing technical assistance, conducting research and evaluation, and supporting public policy initiatives in the fields of education and community development.
Founded in 1979, CTAC is a minority-controlled, not-for-profit organization with a demonstrated record of success. Since its inception, CTAC has assisted and partnered with hundreds of community-based organizations, school systems, coalitions, state and municipal governments, health and human service agencies, and philanthropic institutions to achieve positive and lasting results in low income communities. CTAC is based in Boston, with offices located in several other cities around the country.
Through on-site, customized technical assistance, CTAC develops leadership, planning and managerial expertise.
In education, CTAC’s on-site assistance supports the systemic reform of urban school districts serving diverse and at-risk populations. CTAC’s core initiatives build the capacity of school districts, unions and states to analyze the conditions that help or hinder performance, find their causes, and create and implement improvement strategies, which address those causes and increase student achievement. Working on-site with teachers, parents, principals, students, administrators, boards of education, business and community leaders – as well as with state education authorities – CTAC conducts capacity-building projects that are comprehensive and improve student achievement through accountability, site and district planning, and strategic management.
CTAC has assisted diverse school systems such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Christina, Delaware, Cleveland, Ohio, Decatur, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Duval County, Florida, Jackson, Mississippi, Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties in California; Newark, New Jersey, Salt Lake City, Utah, Seattle, Washington and those in many other parts of the country. CTAC has also provided training to leadership teams from more than 40 state departments of education.
In community development, CTAC administers initiatives that develop leadership and build organizational capacity in community-based organizations. Assistance focuses on planning, governance, effective initiatives and programming, membership development, collaboration, and resource development. Groups that CTAC has served are diverse, ranging from Southeast Asian refugees to African-American and Hispanic elders. The organizations' programs range from immigrant rights and environmental justice, to affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.
CTAC also provides technical assistance to build the capacity of health and human service agencies, government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and other institutions working independently, or collectively, to address root causes of poverty in communities.
CTAC conducts research addressing critical issues in education and community development, in order to improve practice and inform decisions at the local, state, and national levels. Recent studies have examined the impact of performance pay for teachers, professional development for teachers, district-wide reform initiatives, state takeovers of urban school districts, federally approved school reform models, site-based management of schools, and nonprofit capacity.
In addition to framing and examining public policy issues, CTAC has promoted public policy improvements at the state and national levels based on the needs of urban children and families by sponsoring special initiatives. For example, CTAC established the National Urban Reform Network, a broad-based collaboration of urban school districts and communities that combined forces to inform national public policy in elementary and secondary education.