Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (REL Southwest)

The REL Southwest serves the education needs of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. through eight research alliances, which bring together practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and others to collaborate and use data and research evidence to examine and address high-priority regional needs.

The REL Southwest focuses on the following high-priority education needs in its five-state region through research alliances which investigate research questions related to one of these topics:

  • Charter school effectiveness
  • Closing the achievement gap
  • Early childhood education
  • Effective teachers and principals
  • English learners
  • Hispanic achievement in STEM
  • Rural school performance

These priorities represent compelling regional and state education needs that can be informed by research evidence as well as each state’s expanding longitudinal data system. The topics also align with the U.S. Department of Education’s national priorities: college and career readiness, early childhood, educator effectiveness, low-achieving schools, and rigorous standards.

The REL Southwest is one of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) funded by the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. These labs provide applied research and evaluation, technical support, and information and products to inform education policy and practice.

The REL Program's primary mission is to help states and school districts systematically use research and data to answer important issues of policy and practice with the goal of improving student outcomes. These issues reflect high-priority regional needs that are also of major national significance.