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Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, & Washington

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The Northwest region comprises five states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Nearly half (49 percent) of the region's students are in one state: Washington. Oregon has a quarter (26 percent), Idaho has an eighth (13 percent), and the remaining eighth is nearly evenly divided between Montana (7 percent) and Alaska (6 percent). While about a sixth of the region's students attend rural schools, almost half are concentrated in the five largest metropolitan areas: Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Anchorage, Spokane, and Boise City-Nampa. Students of color went from being fewer than 1 in 5 public elementary and secondary school students in the region in 1992–93 (17 percent) to more than 1 in 3 in 2013–14 (36 percent). Today, about 1 in 5 students is Hispanic, a group that's growing faster than other subgroups. The Native American enrollment rate is more than three times the national average and is particularly high in Alaska (24 percent) and Montana (11 percent).

Research Alliances

REL Northwest is working with the following research alliances:

  • Alaska State Policy Research Alliance (ASPRA): Policymakers and researchers are working together to use research evidence to inform key education policy decisions, particularly around preparing students for postsecondary success.
  • Idaho System of Recognition, Accountability, and Support Research Alliance (Idaho SRAS): State education agency staff, technical assistance providers, and stakeholders from local education agencies, are working to build its members' capacity to design and implement evaluations of school improvement services and to improve the use of data and research to support low-performing schools.
  • Montana Data Use Alliance (MDUA): Representatives from Montana school districts and the Office of Public Instruction are seeking to strengthen their use of student achievement data and research evidence to evaluate and improve dropout prevention efforts and high school graduation rates.
  • Northwest Tribal Educators Alliance (NW TEA): Comprising members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), this alliance is dedicated to using data and evidence to promote Native student success.
  • Oregon College and Career Readiness Research Alliance (OR CCR): State and local education agencies are working with 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions to improve alignment between the secondary and postsecondary education system and to increase Oregon students' college and career readiness through research, policy, and practice.
  • Oregon Leadership Network (OLN): School districts and other key stakeholders in Oregon are working to improve equitable outcomes for all students in the state.
  • Road Map Project Partnership (Road Map): Part of a larger cradle-to-college initiative involving seven districts in Washington's South Seattle and South King County, Road Map is helping identify indicators of English learner students' academic success and language development, and using evidence to better support student success in the region.
  • Washington Educational Service District Network (WA ESD): Representatives from Washington's nine ESDs and state data analysts and policymakers are using state and local data to support a more effective, coordinated, and consistent statewide ESD network.

Corporate Experience

Education Northwest, through REL Northwest and thousands of other projects, has worked for five decades with educators, policymakers, parents, students, and community leaders on comprehensive, research-based solutions to the challenges they face. The nonprofit organization's wide-ranging projects are making an impact in areas such as school improvement, community building, literacy, equity, and research. Although Education Northwest's services and publications have national reach, we primarily work in the five Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

Lab Director:
Christopher Mazzeo
Governing Board

Education Northwest
101 SW Main St., Suite 500
Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: (800) 547-6339, ext. 454
  • Concord Evaluation Group
  • ECONorthwest
  • FHI 360
  • MDRC
  • Oregon State University
  • Policy Studies Associates, Inc.
  • Teachers College, Columbia University
  • West Wind Education Policy