Regional Educational Laboratory at EDC Awarded New Five-Year Contract, 2012–2017
|For Immediate Release: January 1, 2012|
Highly Collaborative Program of Research Alliances to Launch Across the Northeast and Islands Region
Boston, MA – The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education has awarded a five-year contract for the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands to Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC).
EDC has been the home of REL Northeast and Islands since 2006, leading a program of education research and services to the region through rigorous research studies, a Reference Desk service, dissemination, and technical assistance to regional, state, and local education agencies. The new REL will continue this work and place a special emphasis on helping states, districts, and schools build capacity to use their data effectively; forming and conducting high-quality research and evaluation through new “research alliances”; and helping regional education stakeholders incorporate data-based inquiry practices into their decision-making.
“On behalf of EDC and our partners, it is deeply gratifying to be awarded the new contract for the REL Northeast and Islands, which is also a tremendous validation of EDC’s hard work serving the region over the past half decade,” said Director Jill Weber. “The new award will enable us to expand our reach across the region through a highly collaborative program of alliances aimed at building the capacity of states and school districts to conduct research, to make sense of the data they are collecting, and to develop a greater understanding of research to create sustainable school reforms.”
The authorization for the Regional Educational Laboratories program is under the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) of 2002, administered by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at IES. To support the program of work for the new REL, EDC will continue two major partnerships with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Learning Innovations at WestEd. Additional partners include (in alphabetical order) Chesapeake Research Associates, LLC; CNA Education; Educational Consulting Associates, Inc.; New York University’s Research Alliance for NYC Schools; Quill Research Associates; RMC Research Corporation; and SOS Solutions.
In accordance with the provisions stated in ESRA, REL Northeast and Islands will carry out a range of activities to serve New England, New York, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, the jurisdictions of the Northeast and Islands Region.
REL Northeast and Islands will develop and facilitate research alliances with new or existing partnerships of practitioners, policymakers, and others who share a specific education concern and agree to work together to learn more about the concern so they can make sound decisions to improve education outcomes. The structure, size, and focus of each alliance will reflect the needs of the region, with a particular focus in the first year of the contract in seven areas: rural districts, educator effectiveness, early childhood, quality education for English language learners, college and career readiness, dropout prevention, and longitudinal data systems.
“We look forward to forming regional, cross-state, and cross-district research alliances to identify and provide appropriate technical assistance, conduct and support research and evaluation analyses, and disseminate useful and accessible products based on the research,” said Research Director Julie Reed Kochanek, REL Northeast and Islands. “These highly collaborative groups will enable members to learn from each other as well as from REL staff and to develop ongoing structures or contacts that can persist without continued REL support.”
Over the five-year contract period, alliances will end because goals were met, expand in scope or membership to achieve broader goals, or continue without REL presence because capacity among members to use data and analysis had been built.
Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) is led by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). REL-NEI is one of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the US Department of Education. REL-NEI provides rigorous research that is relevant to national education priorities, responsive to local needs, and usable for policy and practice.
EDC is a global nonprofit organization that develops innovative programs to solve some of the world’s most urgent challenges in education, health, and economic development.