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2012 National Board for Education Sciences Annual Report
Briefing Material for Board Members

NCEE’s Knowledge Utilization Division (Associate Commissioner, Ruth Curran Neild)

The Knowledge Utilization Division is responsible for four major initiatives within NCEE.  These include the following:

  • The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) work in partnership with school districts, state departments of education, and others to use data and research to improve academic outcomes for students. Fundamentally, the mission of the RELs is to provide support for a more evidence-reliant education system. In addition to conducting research (both descriptive and impact studies) and providing analytic technical assistance, the Regional Educational Laboratories share the latest findings from IES evaluations and reviews of "what works" to improve education outcomes. REL events are open to education practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. More information on the Regional Educational Laboratories can be found at
  • The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established by IES in 2002 to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. The WWC aims to promote informed education decision making through a set of easily accessible online databases and user-friendly reports on the effectiveness of replicable educational interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies) that are intended to improve student achievement.  More information on the WWC can be found at
  • The National Library of Education serves the information needs of the U.S. Department of Education, other government agencies, and the public. Its collection emphasizes federal education policy, education research and statistics, and current and historical programs, activities and publications of the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to on-site access, the Library's services are available by phone, internet, fax and mail.  More information on the National Library of Education can be found at
  • The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), within the NLE, provides free public access to education research and information through an electronic database of over 1.2 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials.  The website also includes links to many full-text articles released since 1965. More information about ERIC can be found at /ncee/projects/eric.asp.