Contractors: Westat and Policy Studies Associates
The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) are a networked system of 10 organizations that serve the educational needs of ten designated regions across the United States. The U. S. Department of Education (ED) is authorized by the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) to award contracts to 10 RELs to support applied research, development, wide dissemination, and technical assistance activities. The REL program is administered by the Knowledge Utilization Division of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEERA) within ED's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which was established by ESRA in 2002. The FY12 appropriation for the REL program was $57.426 million.
The national evaluation of the RELs is mandated under ESRA and is addressing the following evaluation questions for each REL funded between FY 2006 and 2011 and for the REL program as a whole:
This descriptive study is relying on a combination of extant data, FY 2010 interviews with REL directors, and FY 2012 surveys of potential REL customers from state and local educational agencies. Panels of experts met during FY 2010 and FY 2012 and rated the quality and relevance of REL Fast Response Project proposals and final reports and REL impact study proposals and final reports.
Cost/Duration: $2,982,765 over 56 months (July 2009 to March 2014)
An interim report based on interviews with REL directors and expert reviews of REL Fast Response Projects is expected to be released in spring 2013. Surveys of REL customers and expert reviews of REL impact studies occurred in late 2011 and 2012, and a final report is expected to be released by early 2014. Reports from this study will be announced on http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.