Regional Educational Laboratory, Central

Since 2012, APA has partnered with Marzano Research Laboratory (MRL) and RMC Research Corporation (RMC) to form REL Central at Marzano Research Laboratory.  REL Central is an education laboratory funded by the US Department of Education, serving seven states: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.  We help educators translate research into policy and practice, through providing technical assistance to states and districts, conducting research that addresses regional priorities, and sharing research findings with the broader community interested in education.  Our work is driven by research alliances—groups of stakeholders organized around a specific topic who share information, participate in research, analyze results, and communicate findings. REL Central has seven research alliances: Educator Effectiveness, Formative Assessment, Rural Education, Native American Education, Mathematics and Science, Systems Development and Improvement, and College and Career Readiness.  APA directly contributes to the research and technical assistance provided through REL Central’s research alliances.  APA President, Robert Palaich serves as an Associate Director of REL Central and APA Senior Associate Dale DeCesare serves as a Deputy Associate Director.

For more information, please visit the REL Central website, follow the @RELCentral twitter account, or contact REL Central Associate Director, Bob Palaich.

APA-led projects within REL Central include:

APA led the development of statewide electronic surveys designed to gather data on the mentoring programs districts provide to new teachers in five REL Central states. The survey instruments were created through the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance, as part of a collaborative effort between leaders from the education agencies in each state and researchers at REL Central. Click here to see the final report on the survey results.
APA is leading a REL Central research study with Aurora Public Schools (APS) in Colorado. One of the largest urban districts in the state, APS is operating an innovative program that uses retired master educators to provide two years of added mentoring support to new and probationary teachers in high-need elementary schools. REL Central worked with district leaders to design and implement a randomized controlled trial study of this mentoring program, involving nearly 80 classrooms in 11 elementary schools.
APA staff is leading and contributing to several technical assistance projects, including assisting Jefferson County Public Schools (Jeffco) in Colorado with developing the valid and reliable data collection tools necessary to describe the targeted job-embedded professional development being implemented in a set of 20 pilot schools. APA has helped educators and policy leaders in North Dakota and Nebraska understand the research and the choices needed to implement teacher and principal evaluation systems and to create an effective early childhood education system.