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About Us

WestEd is committed to the belief that all students should succeed in our schools and that all individuals — from infants to adults — should thrive in our communities.

Glen Harvey, WestEd Chief Executive Officer

Success for every learner is WestEd’s main goal and has been for more than 50 years.

As a national leader in research, development, and service, WestEd takes on the toughest and most enduring challenges in education and human development. With a steadfast commitment to equity, our diverse staff collaborate with everyone from preschool teachers to federal policymakers to reduce opportunity gaps and promote positive outcomes for all children and adults.

As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, WestEd’s work is rooted in data and informed by research. Our staff work at the local, state, and national levels, providing a range of services — research and evaluation, professional learning, technical assistance, and policy guidance — tailored to the needs of the field and to the context of particular clients.

Our Core Values

Valuing Research
We draw from and add to the research base in our core areas of work and identify the best available evidence to guide decision-making. We share our findings in ways that are useful and accessible to the field, to inform improvements in policy and practice.

Ensuring Excellence and Integrity
We strive to conduct only the highest-quality work and to be impartial, fair, and ethical in carrying out our work.

Focusing on Equity
We operate with a particular commitment to populations that traditionally have been inadequately served or unfairly treated, aiming to eliminate opportunity gaps and foster equitable opportunities and outcomes through all we do.

Striving for Impact
We seek work that is meaningful and useful, and that leads to positive outcomes and sustainable improvements in education, healthy development, and justice.

Our Mission

WestEd — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency — works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults.

Our History

WestEd’s roots go back to 1966, when Congress funded regional educational laboratories (RELs) across the country to find practical ways to improve the education of our nation’s children. Charged with “bridging the gap between research and practice,” a number of the original RELs grew beyond their initial mandate, developing into successful organizations that expanded their focus beyond just education improvement. Two RELs in particular — the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory and the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development — evolved beyond their laboratory roots and merged in 1995 to form WestEd.

In 2016, WestEd celebrated a half-century milestone, marking 50 years of improving learning and healthy development at all stages of life. Visit a timeline of WestEd’s history to see a small sampling of our agency’s accomplishments over the decades, and view our WestEd at 50 video.

  • Making a Positive Difference

    Carnegie Math Pathways is the first program of its kind to transform math remediation in community colleges nationwide. Students who have taken Carnegie Math Pathways courses complete their introductory college math at triple the rate and half the time of their peers.

  • Making a Positive Difference

    Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework helps educators create cohesive systems that support school turnaround. Since its release in 2017, more than 20 states have begun working with this powerful framework to boost their turnaround efforts.

  • Making a Positive Difference

    The Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) system gives families tools and strategies to help their children master the academic skills they need to succeed. APTT has thus far provided support to over 600 schools in 22 states — impacting the learning of approximately 600,000 students and their families.