Regional Educational Laboratory - Northeast and Islands


Research is critical to finding out what works in education, but it takes collaboration with the real changemakers—policymakers, administrators, and teachers—to expand equitable learning opportunities and outcomes for students. This approach ensures that federally funded research produces relevant findings that address urgent and emergent needs in education.

EDC fosters collaboration among educators, policymakers, and researchers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Vermont through REL Northeast & Islands at EDC. Working with partners in the region, the REL Northeast & Islands team designs and conducts research, coaching, and tools focused on pressing educational priorities for states, districts, and schools. EDC also supports research for REL Midwest and REL Appalachia.

Key Activities

As 1 of 10 federally funded RELs across the country, REL Northeast & Islands at EDC addresses education challenges in its region as follows:

  • Partners with practitioners and policymakers to identify high-leverage needs in education and share evidence-based strategies and interventions to address them
  • Conducts and supports objective, rigorous research and evaluation based on regional needs
  • Builds the capacity of educators and policymakers to use research to make evidence-based decisions
  • Designs and delivers training and coaching that empower educators to strengthen systems and sustain change

  • Provides analytic support that helps educators and policymakers incorporate data-based inquiry practices into their decision-making
  • Disseminates evidence and research findings through clearly written, actionable, and usable resources for practitioners and policymakers, such as this fact sheet on educational assessment
  • Communicates evidence-based practices with families and caregivers, such as this fact sheet on play-based learning
  • Designs and shares tools, such as this continuous improvement toolkit and logic models, to help state education agencies, districts, and schools gather data to inform decision-making
  • Develops toolkits and trainings to inform teachers’ professional practice and improve student outcomes, including this course on creating and using performance assessments
  • Provides resources to support schools and districts in responding to urgent needs, such as those related to COVID-19
  • Presents study findings to state boards of education and state legislatures to support their decision-making
  • Infuses equity-focused principles into the development, design, and implementation of research studies and training and coaching work


  • REL Northeast & Islands’ work reaches educators, policymakers, and researchers nationwide, as well as 395,000 teachers and 5.2 million students in the region.
  • The REL’s research partnership convenings, workshops, and research-to-practice and virtual coaching events have engaged over 10,000 educators, policymakers, and researchers.
  • Staff have produced more than 60 research studies and policy tools, with several more slated for publication.

Learn More

EDC Staff
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

AIR, SRI International, WestEd, Abt Associates