Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory: Building Partnerships to Improve Education Through Research and Technical Support

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Evaluation

Graphic depicting collaboration, capacity, and rigorous research

Across the United States, 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) supported by the U.S. Department of Education work in partnership with states, school districts, schools, and other stakeholders to support the use of evidence in improving academic outcomes for students. Mathematica leads the REL for the Mid-Atlantic region, which serves Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. The REL partners with education stakeholders to identify high-priority needs and improve teaching, learning, and school leadership.

The REL Mid-Atlantic provides training, coaching, and technical support to help improve school and student performance. The lab also conducts, applies, and disseminates research and research-based technical assistance in collaboration with regional education leaders to promote continuous improvement of educational practice. Watch a video and read the latest newsletter from the REL Mid-Atlantic. Our blog, RELevant, presents the latest insights and viewpoints from our researchers and partners.

In addition to collaborating with stakeholders to understand local needs and grow capacity and knowledge in the region, the lab works with RELs from other regions to connect those working on high-leverage issues that impact multiple regions. Stakeholders have identified the following priorities for the REL's focus:

  • Family engagement
  • Addressing disproportionality in discipline
  • Readiness for career entry and success
  • School support and improvement
  • Strengthening the early education continuum
  • Training and supporting excellent educators
  • Accountability

From 2012-2016, Mathematica served as a subcontractor to ICF on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory on studies related to measures of teacher and principal performance, including:

  • A review of literature related to the use of alternate student assessments (other than state accountability tests) in growth measures for teacher evaluation purposes.
  • A series of case studies of school districts implementing alternate student assessments in growth measures for teacher evaluation purposes.
  • An examination of the relationships among value-added, professional practice, and student survey-based measures of teacher performance.
  • An examination of new rubrics for assessing principals’ professional practice (in Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and its relationship to student achievement growth.