REL Northeast and Islands conducts ongoing and rigorous needs analysis with a broad range of education stakeholders to identify regional priorities. Activities that generate engagement and idea-sharing around regional needs include:
- Face-to-face and online meetings with existing stakeholder groups
- Personal outreach to education leaders and policymakers
- Participation at professional education association meetings, public hearings, and conferences
- Reviews of state policy and legislation, research reports, and documents on state education agency websites
- Needs-sensing convenings such as webinars
Through this extensive needs-assessment process, REL Northeast and Islands has identified four education issues that are of great concern across the region:
- Identifying and retaining effective teachers and principals
- Improving low-performing schools and districts
- Ensuring educational equity and supporting special populations
- Increasing college and career readiness, access, and completion
These regional priorities are closely aligned to the US Department of Education’s Blueprint for Reform. They reflect national and regional interest to make productive use of states’ increasingly sophisticated longitudinal data systems to expand understanding, build capacity, and drive decision-making.
REL-NEI’s eight research alliances address specific questions related to these regional priorities.