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Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Southwest: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, & Texas

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The REL Southwest serves education stakeholders in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Our mission is to support the region's stakeholders in using data and research evidence to inform education policy and practice, with the goal of improving student outcomes.

We carry out much of our work through collaborative research alliances. These alliances bring together educators, researchers, policymakers, and others to address our region's high-priority education needs. In addition, we host research-to-practice bridge events and provide a reference service to answer the public's research-based questions about education policies, programs, and practices.

  • Arkansas Prekindergarten Research Alliance
    This alliance focuses on the needs of early childhood education programs in Arkansas. The alliance seeks to increase state and local capacity to use data to plan, support, and monitor critical factors that affect programs, enrollment in preK, educator quality, and programmatic policy decisions.
  • Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance
    This alliance seeks to guide the development and refinement of educator effectiveness systems in Texas and across the REL Southwest Region for improved educator practice and student learning.
  • English Learners Research Alliance
    This alliance seeks to examine key issues facing the region's English learners, to understand the problems of practice related to the diversity of the population, and to explore the programs and services that best meet the needs of English learners.
  • Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance
    This alliance, consisting of charter school educators, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the state, uses data and evidence to investigate factors affecting student achievement and to explore indicators of program quality and effectiveness among Louisiana charter schools.
  • New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance
    This alliance seeks to identify obstacles to success and reduce achievement gaps among American Indian and Hispanic students. The alliance also seeks to address the needs of underachieving schools as well as increase students' college and career readiness, access, and completion throughout the state.
  • New Mexico Prekindergarten Research Alliance
    This alliance brings together early childhood stakeholders representing publicly funded preK, community-based childcare, and Head Start to investigate prekindergarten program participation and student success, quality early childhood programs, students' transition to kindergarten, and funding of early childhood programs in New Mexico.
  • Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance
    This alliance seeks to investigate three research topics: effective professional development strategies in rural schools, use of data to inform instruction in rural schools, and challenges American Indian students face in rural schools. This research focus will be applied to identify and address the factors that contribute to or impede school performance in rural areas, with particular attention to challenges and solutions for strengthening college and career readiness among rural students.
  • Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance
    This alliance seeks to improve instruction and educational outcomes for Hispanic students in the STEM disciplines. The primary research topics relate to identifying factors that affect Hispanic student preparation for and achievement in STEM subjects and increasing alliance capacity to use data and research to support Hispanic students' entrance into and success in STEM K–20 education and careers.

Corporate Experience

Established in 1966 as one of the original RELs, SEDL works with educators, parents, policymakers, and other researchers to bridge the gap between research and practice. SEDL is home to the REL Southwest, the Southeast and Texas Comprehensive Centers, the Knowledge Translation Center for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, two national cluster randomized controlled trials of reading and mathematics curricula, and other research, development, and dissemination projects designed to improve outcomes for all learners.

Lab Director:
Michael Vaden-Kiernan, Ph.D.
Governing Board

REL Southwest at SEDL
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78723
(800) 476-6861
Key Subcontractors/Partners:
  • Decision Information Resources Inc.
  • Empirical Education Inc.
  • Gibson Consulting Group
  • Mike Puma Associates
  • RAND Education