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Federal network of education support

Federal network of education support

By Cora Goldston | June 28, 2018

To meet student, parent, educator, and community needs, state and local education staff must navigate a variety of topics, systems, and policies. The U.S. Department of Education provides a range of resources at no charge to support education staff and address their needs. This support includes a national network of federally funded educational laboratories and centers that work with states, districts, and schools to research high-priority topics and implement practices that can make education more effective. Federal centers that support educators include, but are not limited to, the following.

Regional Educational Laboratories

REL Southwest is one of 10 regional educational laboratories (RELs) funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. The RELs collaborate with school districts, state education agencies, and other organizations through short- or long-term partnerships to conduct original research that solves practical problems, addresses high-leverage needs in their respective regions, and increases understanding of education challenges and processes. The RELs also provide training, coaching, and technical support to help stakeholders effectively incorporate data and evidence in education practice and decisionmaking. In addition, the RELs share up-to-date research evidence through webinars, in-person events, newsletters, blog posts, social media, and other avenues.

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Regional Comprehensive Centers

Fifteen regional comprehensive centers provide resources and training to equip state education agencies in supporting districts and schools. These resources include information about evidence-based practices to support the implementation of programs or practices. In addition, regional centers provide training and technical support to help states implement their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The five states in REL Southwest's region—Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas—are served by either the South Central Comprehensive Center or the Texas Comprehensive Center.

Content Centers

In addition, seven content centers provide evidence-based guides, trainings, and other resources to increase knowledge around specific content areas. The content centers work with regional comprehensive centers and state education agencies to address state needs for content expertise and current research. Content centers focus on the following topics:

  • College and career readiness
  • Early childhood education
  • Improving state-level capacity to support districts
  • Learning innovations
  • School turnaround
  • Standards and assessments
  • Teacher and education leader quality

Equity Assistance Centers

Four equity assistance centers provide individualized support to help states and districts provide an equitable education for all students. Specifically, the centers provide training and resources around equitable experiences for students regarding race, sex, national origin, and religion. The centers also provide support around meeting legal nondiscrimination requirements, addressing bullying and harassment, and creating positive school climates. The states in REL Southwest's region are served by the Region II, Region III, and Region IV Equity Assistance Centers.

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Author Information

Cora Goldston

Cora Goldston

Communications Associate | REL Southwest

cgoldston@air.org