Regional Educational Laboratory - Northeast and Islands

Challenge

Research is critical to finding out what works in education, but it takes collaboration with the real changemakers—policymakers, administrators, and teachers—to improve student outcomes. This approach ensures that federally funded research produces relevant findings that address urgent and emergent needs in education.

EDC fosters collaboration among educators, policymakers, and researchers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Vermont through the REL Northeast and Islands at EDC. Working with stakeholders, the REL Northeast & Islands team designs research, coaching, and tools focused on pressing educational priorities. EDC also supports research for REL Midwest and REL Appalachia.

Key Activities

As 1 of 10 federally funded RELs across the country, REL Northeast & Islands at EDC addresses education challenges in its region as follows:

  • Partner with practitioners and policymakers to identify high-leverage needs in education and share evidence-based strategies and interventions to address needs
  • Conduct and support objective, rigorous research and evaluation based on regional needs
  • Build the capacity of educators and policymakers to use research to make evidence-based decisions
  • Design and deliver in-person and online events that enable practitioners to learn about and apply education research
  • Provide analytic support that helps educators and policymakers incorporate data-based inquiry practices into their decision-making
  • Disseminate research findings through clearly written, actionable publications
  • Design and share tools, such as a continuous improvement toolkit and logic models, to help state education agencies, districts, and schools gather data to inform decision-making
  • Develop trainings to inform teachers’ professional practice and improve student outcomes, including a course on creating and using performance assessments
  • Provide resources to support schools and districts in responding to urgent needs, such as those related to COVID-19
  • Present study findings to state boards of education and state legislatures to support their decision-making

Impact

  • REL Northeast & Islands’ work reaches educators, policymakers, and researchers nationwide, as well as 395,000 teachers and 5.2 million students in the region
  • The REL’s research partnership and alliance convenings, workshops, and research-to-practice and virtual coaching events have engaged over 10,000 educators, policymakers, and researchers
  • Staff have produced more than 60 research studies and policy tools, with several more slated for publication.

Learn More

PROJECT DIRECTOR
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DURATION
2006–Present
FUNDED BY
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences
PARTNERS

AIR, SRI International, WestEd