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About REL Southeast

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast partners with states, school districts, and other stakeholders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to inform and improve education practice and policy in the region. 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.

REL Southeast is led by Florida State University with help from its partners.

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Instructional Research Group
  • MK Educational Research & Practice, LLC
  • RMC Research
  • RTI International

Director John Hughes, Ph.D.

Director John Hughes, Ph.D.Dr. John Hughes specializes in educational research with 20 years of experience in applied settings and is currently the Director for the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. John began conducting educational research in state government after six years teaching at the university level. John has conducted and managed research projects for educational programs at all levels, from early childhood to K-12 to community colleges and universities. He worked as a Senior Legislative Analyst, conducting program evaluations of state-funded programs for the Florida Legislature. He also served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Evaluation in the Division of Florida Colleges at the Florida Department of Education where he was responsible for program evaluations, research projects, and developing reports for agency and legislative leadership. John has also managed large scale programs and staff. During his time at the Office of Early Learning John oversaw policy development and research for Florida's early childhood programs.

Governing Board

The REL Southeast manages all tasks with guidance from a statutorily required Governing Board representing the interests of all states and other appropriate constituencies in the region. The composition of the Governing Board includes a diversity of expertise, including education research methods and practice, and individuals representing the interests of students in economically disadvantaged areas, both rural and urban. The Governing Board provides strategic guidance on how the REL shall carry out its activities for maximum effectiveness and efficiency, reduces redundant activities within the region, and increases collaboration and resource sharing.
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