The Salt Lake Tribune
November 14, 2011
About REL West
WestEd's Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) provides scientifically valid research findings that help meet the education needs in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Our staff draw from existing high-quality research, as well as conduct research and development projects and experimental studies. We also help stakeholders interpret evidence and build their own research capacity.
REL West is one of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) nationwide funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. While schools, districts, and other education agencies in REL West's four-state region share many challenges, their specific needs for research and support can differ. To target and ensure the relevance of its work, REL West reaches out broadly and regularly to policymakers and educators to assess the needs of their state. Information gleaned from this effort guides our work, helping to determine both our research and dissemination plans at local, state, and national levels.
We deliver research findings — understandable and tailored to the needs of the audience — that inform funding, policy, and programming decisions that aim to improve student outcomes.
Who We Are
REL West is a program of WestEd, a research, development, and service agency whose mission is to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. Since its inception in 1966, WestEd has been guided by knowledge from research and practice, drawing on an ever-growing and constantly refined database in development. WestEd has served as the West's regional educational laboratory for over 40 years.
To learn more about WestEd's programs of work and the impact its research, technical assistance, and services have had on policies, systems, and people of all ages, visit the WestEd website. To keep current on the latest WestEd news, products, events, and research — including that of REL West — sign up to receive the agency's monthly email newsletter.
Our team includes a full array of staff with intimate knowledge of the western region and a history of providing support and research-based information to stakeholders at all levels, from schools and districts to state education agencies and legislators. Projects draw from an integrated pool of methodologists, content experts, policy specialists, technical assistance providers, writers, and more.
WestEd partners with a number of other research organizations to carry out both fast-response and experimental studies as part of the REL West contract:
- American Institutes for Research (AIR) staff have authored a number of published REL West fast-response studies, including one describing state-level RtI policies and procedures, one detailing resource distribution in California secondary schools, and one case study of the implementation of a weighted student formula policy.
- Berkeley Policy Associates is a subcontractor on two REL West experimental research studies: Evaluation of the Quality Teaching for English Learners Program and Evaluating the Impact of the Program for Infant/Toddler Care.
- Empirical Education is part of the team conducting one of REL West's long-term experimental research studies, Impacts of a Problem-Based Instruction Approach to Economics on High School Students.
- Heller Research Associates has a subcontract with WestEd to lead the REL West experimental research study, Impact of the Understanding Science Professional Development Model on Science Achievement of English Language Learner Students.
Our Governing Board comprises leaders from public and private education, business, and human services communities. The Board, which meets quarterly, takes an active role in identifying regional needs and planning strategic responses.
REL West at WestEd
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San Francisco, CA 94107
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"We believe our REL West work strengthens the empirical, scientific evidence that is available and used in education practice and policy."
Gary Estes, REL West Director