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Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Central: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming

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REL Central serves the educational needs of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. These states have a combined population of 18,631,097 and cover approximately 579,058 square miles of both urban and rural communities.

Research Alliances

REL Central is conducting work in the following research alliances:

Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance

  • Teacher Preparation Workgroup: The Teacher Preparation Workgroup of the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance provides a forum for REL Central state educators, policymakers, researchers, and others to engage on issues related to research and evaluation in teacher preparation. Workgroup activities include studies of (1) approaches being used by REL Central states to evaluate teacher preparation programs; and (2) clinical practice components of traditional teacher preparation programs in Missouri. Technical assistance activities include a webinar series and work with state education agency staff and other constituents to support research and evaluation related to teacher preparation programs.
  • Professional Development Workgroup: The Professional Development Workgroup was formed to explore job-embedded professional development (JEPD) targeted at improving teachers' classroom performance is an emerging challenge facing schools, districts, and states. Targeted JEPD refers to professional development activities that address goals based on individual teacher needs and responsibilities as identified through newly-developed teacher evaluation systems. Pressure on schools and districts to increase student outcomes has resulted in a serious effort to improve teacher effectiveness. JEPD is a method of improving teacher effectiveness that has widespread support.
  • Teacher Mentoring Workgroup: The Teacher Mentoring Workgroup of the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance was formed in recognition of the ongoing challenges which the education profession faces in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. This workgroup explores the unique issues that new teachers face when entering the profession, and seeks to identify and study innovative programs, practices, and policies designed to meet those challenges.
  • Teacher Feedback Workgroup: The Teacher Feedback Workgroup of the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance provides a forum for REL Central state educators, policymakers, researchers, and others to become engaged in issues of importance related to teacher evaluation systems that support teacher growth. Through this workgroup, REL Central facilitates discussions, shares information, and conducts approved research to help teachers, principals, districts, and states explore ways to use evaluation results, provide and use individualized feedback, and facilitate professional growth. Issues of interest include: how state's systems vary in terms of evaluator priorities, the frequency and expectations for classroom observations, the frequency with which feedback is provided, guidance and training on providing feedback, characteristics of effective feedback, challenges to implementing these state models at the local level (such as gaining teacher buy-in, integrating student growth scores, and finding the time and expertise for providing effective feedback), and how teachers can use effectively use feedback to contribute to their professional growth.

Formative Assessment Research Alliance: The Formative Assessment Research Alliance provides a forum to discuss and study the role of formative assessment in student learning. This alliance seeks to increase the use of formative assessment in classrooms, and works with state-, district-, and school-level personnel who are interested in developing the capacity to use the process of formative assessment.

Rural Education Research Alliance: The Rural Education Research Alliance is composed of rural educators throughout the REL Central region, including associations of rural superintendents, state department of education staff, and university researchers. The alliance works to improve student achievement of traditionally underperforming rural subpopulations by identifying effective teaching and learning, leadership, and operational practices from successful districts and then sharing information on best practices widely throughout the region and the nation.

Mathematics and Science Research Alliance: The Mathematics and Science Research Alliance works with state education agency coordinators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), leaders from state mathematics and science professional organizations, and interested educators to provide guidance and insight into important issues affecting STEM disciplines, such as curricula, instructional materials, assessments, and teacher evaluation.

Native American Education Research Alliance: The Native American Education Research Alliance supports efforts to improve the academic achievement of Native American students and to develop interventions that serve Native American students. Stakeholder groups specifically targeted for assistance include researchers, policymakers, district and school administrators, community and school board members, teachers, and parents of Native American students.

College and Career Readiness Research Alliance: The College and Career Readiness Research Alliance supports states and districts as they help ensure our students graduate from high school prepared to enter the workforce, postsecondary education, or technical education. This alliance might interest career counselors, career and technical education providers, International Baccalaureate teachers, and Advanced Placement teachers.

Systems Development and Improvement Research Alliance: The Systems Development and Improvement Research Alliance focuses on educational systems, and their processes, at the school, district, and state levels. The alliance assists educators with examining and improving educational systems, as well as conducting research on such systems. Alliance members have an interest in developing systems of support for students and staff, systems of support for schools, and systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Corporate Experience

Marzano Research, founded in 2008, is a private for-profit research and consulting firm. Marzano Research provides education services through: ongoing field research and meta-analysis of common studies; evaluation of school and district effectiveness; educational product development; and professional development services which respond to the needs of schools.

Lab Director:
Terri L. Martin
Governing Board

REL Central
Marzano Research
12577 E. Caley Ave.
Centennial, CO 80111
Phone: (303) 766-9199

REL Central partners and subcontractors:

  • RMC Research Corporation
  • Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, Inc.