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REL Midwest conducts its work through collaborative research partnerships with state education administrators, district superintendents, principals, university professors, early childhood education advocates, and other Midwest education stakeholders.

To address the education priorities of our states, REL Midwest supports several research alliances and a networked improvement community (NIC), as well as other collaborations. Education stakeholders collaborate with REL Midwest researchers to develop a research agenda for each partnership.

Although the research alliances and the NIC have a main state partner, state education staff working on similar issues in the region participate in a community of practice to share best practices, explore research findings, and work with REL Midwest to answer research questions unique to their states.

The other collaborations operate over a shorter period of time, responding to state and local education agency requests for immediate assistance.