AIR Awarded REL Midwest Contract to Help Address the Research and Evaluation Needs of Educators

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences has awarded AIR a five-year contract to operate the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) in the Midwest in order to address the research and evaluation needs of educators.

The contract is a continuation of the REL work in the region that began in 1984 under Learning Point Associates, which merged with AIR in 2010.

The new contract continues the ongoing evolution of the REL program to more effectively meet the increasing needs of educators for research and evaluation. A major focus of this work will be to support state and local education agencies in their efforts to conduct rigorous, high-quality, and relevant research to assess the effectiveness of their programs and policies. In the current climate of fiscal constraints and high educational expectations the need for these agencies to further develop their research capacity is critical.

We want to acknowledge our many partners in this effort, which include the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, the Consortium on Chicago School Research, a number of small business partners, and many state and local education agencies that joined one of the research alliances that will be the foundation of our REL work in the next five years.

In addition to the newly awarded work in the Midwest, AIR will also serve as a partner in four RELs in other regions. We are pleased to join the teams of SEDL in the Southwest, EDC in the Northeast and Islands, CNA in Appalachia, and WestEd in the West. In all of these regions AIR will provide both substantive and methodological expertise to the projects of our partners.

“We are grateful for the confidence that IES and our partners have placed in us and are looking forward to strengthening the research capacity in these regions in the next five years,” said Dr. Johannes Bos, an AIR vice president.