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 sixth 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

Jannelle Kubinec, Co-Director

Jannelle Kubinec is the Co-Director of the California Comprehensive Center and co-leads the Center’s work on ESSA Implementation and the development of systems of support for state and local capacity to improve student achievement. 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.

Deb Sigman, Co-Director

Deb Sigman is the Co-Director of the California Comprehensive Center. She is a state and national education leader focusing on connecting assessments with enhanced student learning. She focuses on the development and delivery of technical assistance regarding the integration of curriculum, assessment, and instruction with an emphasis on training educators in the appropriate and constructive use of assessment results.

Eric Crane

Eric Crane co-leads the Center’s College and Career strand. In addition, his experience and expertise of over 20 years in educational assessment, standards, evaluation, and accountability reporting is applied to key state Accountability and Assessment projects.

Sylvie Hale

Sylvie Hale engages in 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.

Roni Jones

Roni Jones works with and across agencies, providing assistance to state- and local-level leaders who are developing Local Control Accountability Plans through stakeholder engagement, data analysis, meeting facilitation, and implementation strategies. She assists CDE leaders, divisions and offices in addressing particular planning and implementation challenges.

Robert Linquanti

Robert Linquanti leads the Center’s State Standards Implementation work, with an emphasis on English learners. 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.

Heather Mattson

Heather co-leads Educator Excellence and ESSA Implementation projects for the Center. Her primary focus is applying research, developing content, and disseminating information on topics related to improving outcomes for all students, especially the role of effective educators, quality professional learning systems, and convening networks focused on continuous improvement.

Jason Willis

Jason Willis leads work that focuses on performance and accountability practice that includes supporting state, regional, and local education agencies to align their policies, strategies, and accountability practices to achieve more equitable education outcomes for students. Technical assistance centers on building capacity, facilitating professional networks, and analyzing financial data including the effective use of resources. He is working with SBE, CDE, and CCEE leaders and partners to realign systems of support for LCFF and ESSA implementation.