Lori Van Houten

Director of Analytic Support, REL West

Lori Van Houten
Lori J. Van Houten is the Director of Analytic Support for the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West). In this capacity, Van Houten collaborates with REL West staff to provide analytic support and technical assistance at the state, district, and school levels to ensure effective use of data and research findings to inform policy and practice. In her first 10 years at WestEd, Van Houten worked with the Comprehensive School Assistance Program. She supported underperforming schools and districts in creating sustainable and systemic change that resulted in improved student outcomes. In partnership with her clients, Van Houten completed a needs assessment, helped developed a comprehensive action plan featuring research-based strategies, and continued to support clients as they developed capacity to monitor implementation of their plan. Van Houten also provides technical assistance to schools and groups of educators in data-driven decision-making. Such expertise led to her coauthoring the WestEd publication, Developing an Effective School Plan: An Activity-Based Guide to Understanding Your School and Improving Student Outcomes. Via online events, conference presentations, and summer institutes, Van Houten and her colleagues have helped hundreds of school and district staff on how to use Developing an Effective School Plan to create, implement, and monitor their own plans. Previously, Van Houten worked for over 25 years as a consultant, teacher, district employee, and researcher with schools and organizations serving students at risk of academic failure. She received a BA in deaf education and elementary education from Michigan State University and an MA and PhD in linguistics from Brown University.