SRI International Awarded U.S. Department of Education Contract to Lead Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia | SRI International

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SRI International Awarded U.S. Department of Education Contract to Lead Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia

MENLO PARK, Calif.January 13, 2017SRI Education, a division of SRI International, has been awarded a five-year contract from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to lead the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) for the Appalachia region, one of 10 IES-funded RELs nationwide. Deborah Jonas, Ph.D. will lead REL Appalachia, serving as the REL Director. Jonas is currently principal research scientist and director of SRI Education’s Center for Education Policy. REL Appalachia will work in partnership with school districts, state departments of education, and other education stakeholders to develop and use research to improve student academic outcomes in the region.


“SRI Education has a rich history of leading rigorous applied research projects and developing evidence-based solutions to help educators implement the most effective education policies and best practices for teaching and learning,” said Deborah Jonas. “Through our deep commitment to working in partnership with educators and policymakers, we will provide support for a more evidence-reliant education system in Appalachia—one that is relevant to the region’s challenges, and most importantly, makes an impact on student learning.”

REL Appalachia serves state and local education agencies and other stakeholders in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. This region reaches students and families served by diverse education systems ranging from large urban and metropolitan school systems to remote rural districts in the heart of Appalachia. Each REL is charged with focusing on high-leverage education problems in their regions that have the potential to result in substantial improvements in student outcomes.

In coordination with education leaders in the four Appalachia states, SRI is forming research partnerships to focus on regional priorities, including early literacy, student success in Algebra I, rural college readiness, workforce readiness, communicating data, and postsecondary transitions. The REL Appalachia team will leverage SRI’s innovative approach of combining rigorous research with responsive training, coaching, and technical support along with practitioner-focused information sharing to ensure that evidence can inform practice in a timely manner and benefit students.

The REL program is one of the largest investments by IES in supporting state and local use of scientific evidence in the education system, with the goal of applying research to improve teaching and learning in ways that benefit students.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Program is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the US Department of Education. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material belong to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IES.