San Francisco – WestEd is pleased to announce a new five-year contract from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to operate the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest and enhance partnership with educators and policymakers to generate and use research in ways that will measurably improve the lives of students in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.  

“We look forward to working with educators and policymakers in the Northwest region to engage in high-leverage initiatives that enhance learning, educational equity, and student well-being,” says WestEd CEO Glen Harvey.

WestEd, who will run the REL in collaboration with Marzano Research, brings expertise in improving outcomes through rigorous studies, technical support for the use of research, and deep knowledge of local context to solve pressing challenges in policy and practice. Through WestEd’s action-oriented approach to research, REL Northwest will launch and sustain local projects and authentic, committed partnerships to enhance education systems, educator practices, and student achievement. 

According to the new REL Northwest Director Katie Drummond, “Our team is excited to collaborate with educators in the five northwest states. Our work over the next five years will help our partners generate and use evidence to address a diverse array of priorities they have identified, especially as students and teachers continue adjusting back to the school context during the pandemic.”  

REL Northwest will engage with communities to improve equity in education by promoting the use of evidence in key areas, including trauma-engaged practice, social and emotional learning, high-quality early care, and racial equity and social justice in schools. Among the many new activities planned is the development of an innovative toolkit that builds on the current IES What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Student Learning: A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty. 

REL Northwest Leadership

WestEd Senior Research Scientist Katie Drummond will serve as the new REL Northwest Director. Based in Oregon, Drummond brings more than 25 years of experience in education, including many researcher-practitioner partnerships designed to improve learner outcomes, especially for underserved populations. Her experience includes national and state-specific studies and research-based technical assistance on literacy and early childhood education topics. Drummond obtained her Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She began her career as a special education teacher. 

WestEd Director of Learning and Technology Jodi Davenport will serve as the new REL Northwest Deputy Director. Davenport brings her experience running the National Center for Cognition and Mathematics Instruction, leading numerous large-scale research projects, fostering productive collaborations with diverse stakeholders, and communicating complex scientific information to lay audiences. Davenport received a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

For more information, contact Katie Drummond. 

For more information on the REL program, visit the IES web site.