The Midwest Comprehensive Center at American Institutes for Research (AIR) was launched in October 2012 under a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Midwest Comprehensive Center provides technical assistance to the state education agencies (SEAs) of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin with a focus on building the capacity of the SEA to support districts and schools to ensure that all students graduate high school ready for college or a career. Technical assistance is tailored to each state's individual needs while also being aligned to the priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.
The center's region now includes Iowa and Minnesota in addition to the states of Illinois and Wisconsin that were served previously (2005-2012) by the Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center. AIR has partnered with Bowman Performance Consulting and WestEd to operate the Midwest Comprehensive Center.
In the U.S. Department of Education’s September 28, 2012, press release announcing the new Comprehensive Center, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated: "These centers will help low-performing schools and districts close the achievement gap. They provide valuable support of the Administration's P–12 initiatives to ensure that every child is able to receive a high-quality education."