Who We Are


The U.S. Department of Education selected WestEd as the lead agency to operate the California Comprehensive Center (CA CC). WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service agency, working with educational and other communities to promote excellence; achieve equity; and improve learning for children, youth, and adults.

The CA CC at WestEd is in the second year of its current award.


In the CA CC, WestEd is partnering with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). AIR is a nonprofit applied research firm operating in California since 1946, developing and disseminating information and resources, and providing technical assistance to support educators in using research-based programs and practices.

Key Project Staff

Most of the CA CC staff are research and policy experts, as well as former teachers and administrators. We have a wide range of experience in meeting the unique challenges of California’s schools, including extensive expertise in improving student achievement. Specifically, staff have experience in:

  • Providing high-quality technical assistance
  • Building collaborative relationships
  • Supporting state and local educational agencies in making systemic changes
  • Disseminating research-based practices to build local and state capacity

Eric Crane

Eric Crane co-leads the Center’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Implementation work. His work is informed by experience and expertise of over 20 years in educational assessment, standards, evaluation, and accountability reporting.

Julie Duffield

Julie Duffield manages online learning ecosystems including WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative, which since 2003 has offered high-quality webinars to engage educators in conversations about educational research and practice. Duffield works closely with researchers and practitioners, helping them apply collaborative tools and other technology to enhance dissemination and technical assistance and to support online communities of practice.

Sylvie Hale

Sylvie Hale leads the Center’s work in the area of Productivity, Effectiveness, and Efficiency. With over 20 years of experience in school and district improvement, technology application, and organizational change and effectiveness, particularly at the state and regional levels, she supports CDE in creating efficiencies in compliance monitoring, effective program administration, collaboration across the agency, and integrating improvement efforts with a focus on implementation and sustainability.

Karen Kearney

Karen Kearney leads the Center’s Educator Excellence work. Early experiences as a K-12 teacher, principal, and district administrator ground her research, policy, and capacity building projects that focus on administrator and teacher standards and professional development, coaching, and evaluation.

Jannelle Kubinec

Jannelle Kubinec is the Director of the California Comprehensive Center and co-leads the Center’s work on California’s Quality Schooling Framework. Kubinec oversees the development of systems of support for state and local capacity to improve student achievement and currently serves as the Director of the California Comprehensive Center. She is a trusted advisor to policymakers and practitioners alike and is sought out for her expertise in education finance, governance, and school and district improvement.

Robert Linquanti

Robert Linquanti leads the Center’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Implementation work. He is a nationally recognized expert on English learner assessment, evaluation, and accountability, and helps national, state, and local educational leaders strengthen policy and practice in these areas.

Pamela Spycher

Pamela Spycher co-leads the Center’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Implementation work. She is an expert in academic literacy instruction, English language development, and teacher professional development, and her work involves working closely with teachers, school and district administrators, county offices, and state leaders to improve curriculum and instruction for English learners.

Angela Stewart

Angela Stewart serves as the project coordinator, working closely with the Director and Associate Director on the project’s administration. Her 13 years of experience in education, particularly related to coordination and management of federal projects, contributes to her work for the Center.