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ERIC Number: ED544177
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 203
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
Evaluation of the Regional Educational Laboratories. Interim Report. NCEE 2013-4014
Carlson, Elaine; Scott, Jenna; Zhang, Xiaodong; Gutmann, Babette; Sinclair, Beth
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) are a networked system of 10 organizations that serve the educational needs of 10 designated regions across the United States and its territories. 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. ESRA requires NCEERA to provide for independent evaluations of each of the RELs in carrying out their duties and to transmit these results to Congress, the National Board for Education Sciences, and the appropriate REL governing boards. In 2009, the Evaluation Division of the NCEERA contracted with Westat to conduct these evaluations for each REL funded between 2006 and 2011, as well as an evaluation of the REL program as a whole. The interim report from the REL evaluation addresses the following questions: (1) What activities did the RELs undertake to fulfill the missions specified in ESRA? ; and (2) What were the technical quality and relevance of REL Fast Response Project reports published by IES and of the corresponding proposals? In semi-structured, open-ended interviews with members of the evaluation study team, REL staff reported activities under each of the 10 missions of the REL program specified in ESRA. Each REL conducted its activities in response to a statement of work (SOW) developed by NCEERA in 2005 for the REL contracts in place between 2006 and 2011. The SOW included tasks that aligned explicitly with 6 of the 10 statutory missions: (1) provision of training and technical assistance, (2) dissemination of scientifically valid research, (3) identification of regional needs, (4) performance of applied research projects, (5) provision of educational research in usable forms, and (6) collaboration with other ED-funded technical assistance providers. Four additional statutory missions--focusing on school finance systems, alternative administrative structures, school improvement strategies, and educational technology--were not explicitly in the SOW for the RELs, but RELs reported activities under these missions as well. The body of the report documents the activities described by staff members from each REL. Four appendixes present: (1) Rubrics for Fast Response Project Expert Panel Review; (2) Inter-rater Agreement; (3) REL Interview Protocol; and (4) Technical Working Group Members. (Contains 26 tables, 13 figures, and 112 footnotes.)
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
IES Funded: Yes