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Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, & South Carolina

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Educators in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina face many challenges and opportunities. The states in REL Southeast's region include schools in rural, suburban, and urban settings which face high poverty, growing populations of English learners, and low graduation rates. At the same time, states are committed to meeting the challenge of higher student standards.

Research Alliances

REL Southeast's research alliances include:

  • Improving Schools in Mississippi Research Alliance: The goal of the Improving Schools in Mississippi Research Alliance is to form a professional learning community to address school improvement, especially in rural school districts. The alliance membership includes superintendents, district program directors, and school leaders from five rural school districts; faculty members from four universities; and program managers at the Mississippi Department of Education.
  • Improving Mathematics Instruction: The Improving Mathematics Instruction Research Alliance is focused on improving mathematics outcomes for students in K–12 schools in the Southeast.
  • Georgia Charter School Research Alliance: The Georgia Charter School Research Alliance is focused on determining charter school effectiveness and identifying promising practices to improve charter school performance. The alliance is comprised of state departments, higher education, charter schools and state charter association in Georgia. The goal of the alliance is to provide alliance members with tools to understand charter school research as well as conducting specific charter school effectiveness research.
  • Improving Literacy Research Alliance: The Improving Literacy Research Alliance is focused on improving literacy outcomes for all students in K–12 schools across several Southeastern states, with a focus on prevention and early intervention. The alliance is comprised of members from state departments of education, higher education institutions, nonprofit foundations, and local education agencies.
  • School Leadership in North Carolina Research Alliance: The major goal of the School Leadership in North Carolina Research Alliance is to learn about and improve the quality of principals and assistant principals in North Carolina's educator workforce, particularly principals leading low-performing schools. The alliance is currently comprised of members from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association (NCPAPA), the Friday Institute of Educational Innovation located at North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Southeast Comprehensive Center.
  • Improving Low-Performing Schools in Alabama: The Improving Low-Performing Schools in Alabama alliance is focused on improving student outcomes in K–12 schools that are identified as low-performing (Priority Schools). The alliance is comprised of 12 core members (Regional Planning Team facilitators, turnaround specialists, and university faculty members). The alliance will form a Research Learning Community, and its efforts will focus on using the results of research to support the improvement of the state's lowest performing schools.
  • School Readiness Research Alliance: The goal of the School Readiness Research Alliance is to build state and local capacity to use data and research to plan, support, and implement initiatives that will promote school readiness. The alliance is comprised of core members from Florida's Office of Early Learning, early learning coalitions, higher education institutions, and non-profit foundations in the State of Florida; the Early Childhood Director from the Mississippi Department of Education; and stakeholders from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. Efforts of this alliance focus on the readiness of children and the readiness of families, communities, and early care and education providers to offer successful learning opportunities to young children.
  • Blended and Online Learning Research Alliance: The long-term goal of the Blended and Online Learning Research Alliance is to improve course outcomes and reduce student attrition for rural students in blended and online learning environments. Members include leaders from the South Carolina Department of Education, the Florida Department of Education, and Florida Virtual School.

Corporate Experience:

REL Southeast brings together the critical elements for success: a thorough knowledge of the region's education systems and contexts; a history of responding to the needs of state and local educators within the region; deep understanding of the critical issues to be addressed; and extensive expertise in research, analytical technical support, and dissemination. Our strengths include a strong presence in each state served and long-standing working relationships with state and local educators throughout the region.

Lab Director:
Dr. Barbara Foorman
Governing Board

Florida State University
2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32310
(850) 644-9352
Key Subcontractors/Partners:
  • Instructional Research Group
  • RMC Research Corporation
  • American Institutes for Research (AIR) Decision Information Resources, Inc.