REL Midwest, one of ten regional educational laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), serves the educational needs of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. AIR was awarded the new five-year contract that began January 3, 2012. Work focuses on four priority areas identified through a variety of needs-sensing activities across the Midwest. The four areas are educator effectiveness, college and career readiness, low-performing schools/school improvement, and early childhood education. Underlying all of the priority areas is the need for better understanding and use of the application of data.
New to this phase of the project are research alliances that are intended to drive research, evaluation, technical assistance, and engagement strategies. All RELs will establish research alliances in their regions and work with them in carrying out the contract’s scope of work. Together, RELs will identify opportunities for coordination and collaboration with each other and with other federal technical assistance providers to help ensure development of a coherent and potentially deep body of knowledge and expertise.