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June 2012

From the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE)

Easton Highlights RELs Work on College and Career Readiness at AERA Annual Meeting

The new Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) are up and running, and IES Director John Q. Easton highlighted the work of three of these labs in the area of college and career readiness at the recent AERA annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. As chair of the panel discussion "Re-Imagining Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships: The Regional Educational Laboratories," Easton stressed that the 20122017 RELs (awarded in January 2012) are tasked with conducting most of their work in the context of a research alliance. The vision for the alliances is one of long-term partnerships among practitioners, policymakers, and REL researchers and technical assistance providers that, over time, increase the quality, quantity, usability and relevance of the REL work. "It's exciting to watch the RELs form and nurture these alliances," Easton said. "They are really changing how the RELs plan and carry out their work."

Panelists included representatives from 3 of the 10 RELs.

IES Director Easton also participated in AERA discussions on higher education research, innovative programs for district-level evaluation, and nurturing consortia in the maelstrom of education reform.