January 10, 2022

EDC Receives IES Award to Continue Leadership of REL Northeast & Islands

EDC has been awarded a $25 million contract from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education to operate the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northeast & Islands through 2027. For over 15 years, EDC has led REL Northeast & Islands, reaching over 395,000 teachers and 5.2 million students in New England, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands each year.

As part of a network of 10 regional educational laboratories, REL Northeast & Islands at EDC will continue to build the capacity of state and local education agency partners to use data to improve student outcomes. Working closely with these partners, as well as teachers and families, the team will conduct research, provide coaching and technical support, and produce tools focused on enhancing the quality and equity of education.

In the previous contract, the REL Northeast & Islands team led studies on high-priority issues in the region, including universal pre-kindergarten programs, rapid staff turnover in early childhood education settings, and accelerated college credit programs. The team also produced a series of 14 guides on topics such as safe school reopening, social distancing, and virtual learning to support schools, districts, and families in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased to be selected to continue this important work at a time of significant challenge,” says Julie Riordan, director of REL Northeast & Islands. “Students and teachers have been through so much in the last couple of years, and we are deeply committed to producing research and providing support that will help meet their most urgent needs.”

“EDC has deep-rooted relationships in our region,” adds Heather Lavigne, deputy director of REL Northeast & Islands. “We look forward to building on and expanding these partnerships as we launch the new phase of our regional educational laboratory work.” 

Riordan, Lavigne, and their team will carry out a wide array of initiatives focused on using research to strengthen educational practice, programs, and policies. A few examples follow:

  • Help schools collect data to assess innovations in learning
  • Provide support to boost the mathematics achievement of multilingual learners
  • Examine the costs and benefits of dual and concurrent enrollment programs
  • Identify and address opportunity gaps in career and technical education
  • Help teachers support families in using data to advocate for their children’s learning

Subcontractors for the 2022–2027 REL Northeast & Islands at EDC will include AIR, WestEd, SRI International, and Abt Associates.