Articles: McREL Wins Pacific Region Education Contract over PREL

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jan 24, 2012 - 06:26 PM

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In its inaugural bid to operate the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) in the Pacific region, McREL has received a five-year, $24 million contract from the U.S. Department of Education. The REL Pacific, which will be administered by McREL’s Pacific Center for Changing the Odds in Honolulu, Hawaii, serves the state of Hawaii; the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and three nations in free association with the United States—the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap), Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

“McREL has worked over the years to develop wonderful working relationships in the Pacific region, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further those relationships through our Pacific Center and work collaboratively with education entities in the region to serve the needs of its educators and children,” said McREL President and CEO Tim Waters.

The director of McREL’s Pacific Center, Nolan Malone, and other Honolulu-based staff members will carry out the REL mission to provide access to high-quality, scientifically valid data, information, and tools through applied research and development projects, studies, and other related technical assistance.

“Our staff in the Pacific looks forward to making a greater difference region-wide by bringing McREL’s high-quality research and guidance to educators at all levels, from teachers to commissioners,” said Malone. “Like the rest of the country, there are many educational challenges in the region—some similar to those faced on the continent, and others quite unique to the Pacific context. McREL’s Pacific staff will work collaboratively with educators in the region and McREL’s Denver-based experts to deliver services that can continue to make a difference in the lives of learners.”

The region has a population of approximately 1,680,000 people spread across 4.9 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the challenges faced by schools include socioeconomic diversity, a multitude of indigenous cultures and languages (with more than a dozen languages used for instruction), and much variation in the education levels of teachers. The Pacific REL will work with alliances of education professionals, practitioners, and advocates to collaboratively address the most pressing issues, leverage data and information for effective decision-making, and support continuing efforts to build sustainability within the region.

- McREL, Denver, Colorado

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