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

Deb Sigman, Director

Deb Sigman is the 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.

Molly Faulkner-Bond

Molly Faulkner-Bond leads the Center’s work on English learner (EL) policy and assessment. In this role she collaborates with educators, researchers, and communities to increase the use and utility of educational research results, substantively impacting teaching and learning, and improving educational outcomes for linguistically and culturally diverse learners.

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.

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.

Rose Owens-West

Rose Owens-West leads the Center’s equity work. In this role, she helps educators understand the multiple dimensions of educational equity, develop data using cultures to inform decisions and implementation for continuous improvement, and monitor for effectiveness and sustainability.

Amber Valdez

Amber Valdez engages in the Center’s work in the area of Productivity, Effectiveness, and Efficiency. She works with divisions within the California Department of Education on strategic planning and organizational structures, with a focus 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.