REL West reaches out to policymakers and educators to analyze their needs, solicit their questions, and build their interest in and reliance on evidence-based work. REL West researchers then develop responsive research and development projects to help inform practice and policy decisions, as well as provide technical assistance and convene stakeholders through events that bridge research, policy, and practice.

Our research projects, which result in Institute of Education Sciences-published reports, fall into two categories: fast-response studies and long-term experimental studies. In addition, our other technical assistance work supporting evidence-based decisionmaking in the western region may result in documents of interest to a broader audience and, thus, are included here.


Fast Response Studies

These studies, which are completed by REL West within one year and analyze existing data, are tailored to provide the best available answers to specific education questions within the four-state region. 

  1. Comparing Achievement Trends in Reading and Math Across Arizona Public School Student Subgroups Oct 2011
  2. How California's Local Education Agencies Evaluate Teachers and Principals Mar 2012
  3. Retirement Patterns of California Prekindergarten–Grade 12 Educators Feb 2012
  4. Achievement Trends of Schools and Students in Arizona’s Title I School Improvement Program Jul 2011
  5. Projecting the Need for California School Administrators Over 2010/11–2017/18: The Effects of Projected Retirement and Projected Changes in Student Enrollment Over Two-Year Increments Mar 2011
  6. The Relationship Between English Proficiency and Content Knowledge for English Language Learner Students in Grades 10 and 11 in Utah Mar 2011
  7. Do Schools in Rural and Nonrural Districts Allocate Resources Differently? An Analysis of Spending and Staffing Patterns in the West Region States Jan 2011
  8. Patterns of Student Mobility Among English Language Learner Students in Arizona Public Schools Oct 2010
  9. Where Do English Learners Go to School? Student Distribution by Language Proficiency in Arizona Aug 2010
  10. Updated Multistate Review of Professional Teaching Standards Apr 2010
  11. School-Site Administrators: A California County and Regional Perspective on Labor Market Trends Jan 2010
  12. The Status of State-level Response to Intervention Policies and Procedures in the West Region States and Five Other States Aug 2009
  13. A Multistate Review of Professional Teaching Standards Jul 2009
  14. Examining Independent Study High Schools in California Jun 2009
  15. Characteristics of California School Districts in Program Improvement: 2008 Update Oct 2008
  16. Training Early Intervention Assistants in California's Community Colleges Sep 2008
  17. Implementation of the Weighted Student Formula Policy in San Francisco: A Descriptive Study of an Equity-Driven, Student-Based Planning and Budgeting Policy Aug 2008
  18. Characteristics of California School Districts in Program Improvement Jul 2008
  19. Characteristics of Arizona School Districts in Improvement Jul 2008
  20. The Reenrollment of High School Dropouts in a Large, Urban School District Jul 2008
  21. Trends in California Teacher Demand: A County and Regional Perspective Jul 2008
  22. Examining the Links Between Grade 12 Mathematics Coursework and Mathematics Remediation in Nevada Public Colleges and Universities Jul 2008
  23. Course-taking Patterns and Preparation for Postsecondary Education in California's Public University Systems Among Minority Youth Jan 2008
  24. Measuring Resilience and Youth Development: The Psychometric Properties of the Healthy Kids Survey Sep 2007
  25. The Distribution of Teaching and Learning Resources in California's Middle and High Schools Sep 2007
  26. An Analysis of Utah's K–3 Reading Improvement Program Jun 2007

Long-term Experimental Studies

These multi-year studies, using randomized controlled trials, examine the effectiveness of promising education interventions in critical areas with the aim of providing more solutions to persistent education challenges. REL West has designed and implemented six of these studies in the western region that will provide scientifically valid answers to pressing questions about interventions that support the development of children of all ages in many types of settings. Results of these multiyear studies, listed below, will be published and shared nationally by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and will be disseminated by REL West to policymakers and practitioners throughout the western region.

  1. Accommodations for English Language Learner Students: The Effect of Linguistic Modification of Math Test Item Sets Jun 2010
  2. Effects of Problem Based Economics on High School Economics Instruction Aug 2010
  3. Evaluation of Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC): An On-site Training of Caregivers Mar 2012
  4. Effects of Making Sense of SCIENCE Professional Development on the Achievement of Middle School Students, Including English Language Learners Mar 2012
  5. Evaluation of Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) Professional Development Mar 2012
  6. Lessons in Character Impact Evaluation Mar 2012

Other Technical Assistance

In addition to conducting peer-reviewed studies for publication by IES, we provide technical assistance to regional educators and policymakers in order to clarify issues and answer pressing questions. This assistance comes in the form of advising on research and evaluation designs, analyzing available data to inform immediate decisions, and summarizing the literature on specific topics.

Assessment in Alternative High Schools

Middle School Math Placement Patterns in Berryessa Elementary School District

Helping Washoe County School District Examine Students' Progress Toward College

Students' Eighth Grade Proficiency in Subject Matter as an Indicator of Their Likelihood of Graduating on Time in Washoe County School District

Technical Assistance on Implementation of Educator Effectiveness Policies Within States

Patterns of Progress of English Language Learner Students in English Proficiency and English Language Arts: A Longitudinal Analysis

Multiple Measures of Readiness in California Community Colleges

Changes in Reading and Mathematics Proficiency Levels Over Elementary and Middle School Grades for Students in Washoe County (NV) School District

Student Learning Measures as Part of Teacher Evaluations

District Assistance to Better Understand Resource Allocation Data Patterns for Title I Schools

Technical Assistance to the California Department of Education to Examinine the Scope and Quality of Middle School Data in California

Technical Assistance to Los Angeles Unified School District on Educator Effectiveness

Students Who Leave High School without Graduating in Washoe County (Nevada) School District: A Cohort Study of the Class of 2008 from 2004/05 to 2007/08

Assessing School Performance with Nevada's Growth Model of Achievement

Helping the Nevada Department of Education Align Data with Its Research Questions: Lessons Learned from Other States

Parent Brochure to Help Students Navigate the Path to College

Collecting, Reporting, and Using Individual-Level Data on Teacher Salaries, Benefits, and Retirement: Practices in Three States

California State Policy Scan: Dropout and Graduation Education Law and Regulation

Assistance to the California Department of Education: Growth in English Language Proficiency of California's English Learners

California Community Colleges Student Learning Outcomes in Freshman Composition: A Study of Alignment

The Enrollment of Young Children in Foster Care in Early Intervention Services and Licensed Preschools in Fresno County, California

Assessing Achievement of English Language Learners: Pass-Fail Status on Arizona's Language and Content Tests

Full-day Kindergarten and Student Achievement: A literature review

How can we help you?

Do you want to know the latest research or where to turn for information? This free collaborative service from the 10 RELs provides references, referrals, and brief responses to education questions. To ask a question, visit the national portal and select REL West -- or directly.

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