The REL West Reference Desk provides quick-turnaround answers to pressing education questions. Visit the new page to access current research-based responses on a variety of topics. New responses will be added frequently, so check back often to see what's new! You can also send a request via the Ask REL West link on the home page or the Reference Desk page.
Learning What Works: New Guide Available
A new guide for education leaders from the U.S. Department of Education, Making the Most of Opportunities to Learn What Works: A School District's Guide, shows how schools and school districts can recognize opportunities to embed experiments into planned policies or programs, outlines the key steps for conducting randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and responds to common questions about these types of studies.
REL Summer Events Around the Country
Summer is a great time for professional development and personal growth. Check out upcoming events around the country sponsored by regional educational laboratories.
ABOUT REL WEST
The Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd, serving Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, is part of a national network of 10 RELs whose mission is to provide research, analytic support, and resources that increase the use of high-quality data and evidence in education decision-making.
Most REL work is carried out in partnership with educators—from state and local decision-makers to district and school support providers and practitioners—through eight regional research alliances.
REL WEST OVERVIEWREL West Handout (PDF)
WestEd has served as the federally funded regional educational laboratory for the four-state western region since inception of the national system in 1966.
The previous contract, 2006-2011, resulted in a significant body of work, including Issues & Answers reports on topics of regional interest, technical assistance briefs, events that brought people together to bridge research and practice, and five long-term experimental studies.
All of these reports and resources are still available here.
- California: 6,189,908 Students, 10,152 Schools, 1,032 Districts -- 2009-10, CDE
- Nevada: 437,444 Students, 626 Schools, 17 Districts -- 2010-11, NDE
- Utah: 587,745 Students, 1,094 Schools, 41 Districts -- 2010-11, USOE
- Arizona: 1,077,831 Students, 2,325 Schools, 647* Districts -- NCES: CCD (2009-10) -- *incl. charters: 224 regular
REL West alliances address one or more of four critical focus areas in the West Region:
- Increasing college and career readiness and success
- Strengthening educator effectiveness
- Accelerating achievement among English learners
- Improving school climate and student achievement in low-performing schools
We continuously review our regional research and technical assistance with our constituents to make sure the work is meeting their needs.
A research alliance is a group of stakeholders who share a specific education concern and who agree to work and learn together so they can make sound decisions leading to improved education.
Alliances consist of multiple schools, districts, states, and/or other support partners.
Whatever their composition and particular focus of work, all alliances share the main objective of examining data and evidence to inform change in systems and practices in order to improve education outcomes.
ASK REL WEST
How can we help you?
Do you want to know the latest research or where to turn for information?
This free reference desk service from the REL Network provides references, referrals, and brief responses to education questions.
RESEARCH DIGESTLatest Research Digest (PDF)
Read articles, research highlights, interviews, and event summaries in the semiannual REL West Research Digest, featuring the work of REL West and other federally funded organizations to support improved K-16 student outcomes.
Opening the file in Adobe Reader is recommended.