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Free Reference Desk Responses to Your Education Questions

Ask A REL is a collaborative reference desk service provided by the 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) and functions much in the same way as a technical reference library. It provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research based education questions.

For example, we can share what is known about a particular intervention or policy, or what strategies work to support particular groups of students. Recent responses from REL West have addressed questions such as:

  • Could you provide research-based instructional practices to improve motivation and engagement for writing in grades K–6?
  • What does the research say about teacher induction mentoring programs?
  • What are some evidence-based strategies used to promote kindergarten readiness?
  • What does the research say about tracking (ability grouping) in middle school mathematics?

“Ask A REL has been a life saver. Research is critical to crafting good policy, but as Legislative staff working on tight timelines we rarely have the time to dive deeply into the literature on a topic. Ask a REL has given me timely, comprehensive research summaries on key issues of concern to our Legislature. Their work has had a direct impact on the development of sound education policy for California.”

—Tanya Lieberman, Deputy Chief Consultant, California Assembly Education Committee