REL West Staff Present to National Board for Education Sciences

News photo of Nikola Filby and Neal Finkelstein

WestEd’s Nikola Filby and Neal Finkelstein were invited to present about the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) to the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory board for the Institute of Education Sciences. The meeting was held in Washington, DC, in early June 2015.

Filby and Finkelstein — along with Barbara Foorman, Francis Eppes Professor of Education and Director of the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast, Florida State University — served on a panel discussion of the Regional Educational Laboratories, the ways in which they combine rigor and relevance, and highlights of accomplishments.

The presenters discussed the composition of REL alliances, which are groups of states or districts and other stakeholders joining together to learn and improve. They gave examples of research activities and data use in the Educator Effectiveness Alliance and the Silicon Valley Research Alliance, the latter of which focuses on mathematics course sequences, placement, and instruction.

“It was an honor to be asked to present,” says Filby. “And we enjoyed hearing a panel discussion with Tom Kane (Walter H. Gale Professor of Education and Economics, Harvard University) and Jim Kemple (The Research Alliance for New York City Schools, New York University) about future directions for education research, especially partnerships.”

Filby is the Director of REL West, with Finkelstein serving as Associate Director.

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