CONNECTING RESEARCH, POLICY, AND PRACTICE

Needs Assessment

Our approach to identifying the region's educational needs and priorities relies on data gathered from multiple sources including via electronic communications, such as our online request form; direct REL staff member contact with education stakeholders in the region, including Governing Board and Research Alliance (RA) members; and review and analysis of public information, such as regional publications and proceedings from state legislative sessions. Because our work is carried out primarily through RAs with states, districts, and charter schools, they will serve as our key sources of information about regional needs and requests for analytic support. We will compile and analyze continuously data generated from such sources.

  • Feedback from members of REL Mid-Atlantic Research Alliances and Governing Board
  • Telephone interviews with key stakeholders, including curriculum directors, district superintendents, and state education agency division leads, as well as leaders of educational organizations such as state PTAs, state educator associations, and state administrator associations
  • Feedback from attendees, trainers, and facilitators at meetings, workshops, webinars, and trainings
  • Review of regional publications, newsletters, newspapers, and policy briefs
  • Proceedings from state education board meetings and state legislative sessions
  • Analytic Technical Support includes interactive events (e.g., site visits/individual consultations, webinars, regional meetings), documents (e.g., how-to guides, annotated bibliographies, white papers), and tools (e.g., interactive databases).
  • Applied Research and Evaluation includes descriptive studies, policy scans, research syntheses, and rigorous studies that establish impact estimates of an intervention (i.e., randomized controlled trials, or RCTs).
  • Formal (e.g., surveys) and informal (e.g., RA portal posts) assessments of customer satisfaction will be gathered continuously to improve and refine the services provided by REL Mid-Atlantic.
  • Quarterly reports ensure transparency in the needs assessment and response processes.
  • The REL team also will analyze the distribution of REL resources to ensure equity throughout the region and across different types of stakeholders.

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Based on our weekly analyses of requested and documented needs, REL staff may provide analytic technical support, design and conduct applied research and evaluation activities, or coordinate with other federal education technical assistance providers to address regional needs. On an ongoing basis, REL staff will solicit and assess customer satisfaction with REL products and services and use those data to refine the focus of our research and how we conduct technical assistance and dissemination activities.

To ensure the transparency of these needs assessment and response processes, REL staff will develop quarterly reports documenting our progress and will analyze the distribution of REL resources to ensure equity throughout the region and across different types of stakeholders.

 

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REL Mid-Atlantic Communities Served

The map below displays the areas in which REL Mid-Atlantic is providing service. This map allows our staff to track service coverage, identify underserved communities, and refine outreach activities.

REL Mid-Atlantic Communities Served Map

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