December 28, 2016

EDC Is Awarded Five-Year, $26 Million Contract to Lead REL Northeast & Islands

WALTHAM, MA | EDC has been chosen to continue operating the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northeast & Islands through 2022 with a new five-year, $26 million contract awarded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. EDC has led REL Northeast & Islands since 2006.

One of 10 regional RELs around the country, REL Northeast & Islands serves state and local education agencies in New England, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands by conducting relevant research to help states and districts systematically use data and analysis to answer important issues of education policy and practice with the goal of improving student outcomes. The new contract enables EDC to continue this work, building a coherent education research program that is locally relevant and addresses knowledge gaps at the national level.

“The new contract enables EDC and our partners to build upon a growing body of research, developed over the past decade, to strengthen teaching and learning,” said EDC’s Jill Weber, director of REL Northeast & Islands. “Our work has led to the increased capacity of states and districts to use evidence to make decisions and a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints of using and conducting research in school systems across our region.”

Under the new contract, EDC will work with practitioners, policymakers, and others to develop and facilitate four research alliances and six research partnerships whose structure, size, and focus will reflect the needs of the region, with an emphasis on:

  • Early childhood education and school readiness
  • College and career readiness
  • Professional development and teacher preparation
  • Education access and attainment for high-need students and schools

During its first 10 years, REL Northeast & Islands produced studies on a range of topics, including the alignment of teacher evaluation to professional development, reclassification of English learner students, online course use in rural districts, and patterns of classroom quality in early childhood programs. Staff also designed a number of tools for practitioners promoting the use of data to inform instruction and improve student outcomes.

EDC has a strong reputation for being responsive to clients, conducting and supporting high-quality research and evaluation focused on regional priorities, and building research capacity and a knowledge base across the region.

EDC’s leadership of REL Northeast & Islands over the next five years will include partnering with AIR, WestEd, SRI International, and small businesses across the region. Learn more at www.relnei.org.


Education Development Center (EDC) designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Visit www.edc.org. The Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands is run by EDC in partnership with AIR and WestEd. REL-NEI is one of 10 regional educational laboratories funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. Visit www.relnei.org.