Regional Educational Laboratory–Appalachia: Dissemination

Project Overview

Insight served as a subcontractor to CNA Corporation to assess the impact and effectiveness of programs and initiatives within the Regional Educational Laboratory–Appalachia (REL-Appalachia). The goal of the laboratory is to identify and meet the educational research needs of State and local education agencies, school districts, and schools in the Appalachian region (Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee). The REL–Appalachia, part of a network of 10 such labs across the country, is designed to conduct and disseminate research that will support continuous improvement in student outcomes, help to close achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students, and achieve other key goals of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Emphasis is on long-term, rigorous evaluations of public education programs as well as short-term research projects investigating and analyzing education policies and practices.

Insight developed a multitiered approach to evaluating the dissemination efforts of the REL–Appalachia. For example, Insight:

  • Conducted semi-structured interviews with State Education Agencies (SEAs) and/or Chief State School Officers (CSSOs)
  • Conducted telephone surveys with State Title III Coordinators
  • Evaluated and analyzed data from all conferences, Webinars, and workshops provided by the laboratory through customer satisfaction survey forms

Insight’s dissemination evaluation reports helped CNA and the National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) assess the laboratory’s effectiveness in reaching its stakeholders and identify the immediate and long-term impacts of the lab’s research.

Core Activities

Literature Reviews and Environmental Scans; Survey Design and Implementation; Qualitative Research; Secondary Data Analysis; Policy Analysis and Assessment; Report Development and Presentation


  • “Results From the REL-Appalachia Title III Coordinator Telephone Survey” (March 2009)
  • “Results From the REL-Appalachia West Virginia Prekindergarten Report Telephone Survey” (September 2009)
  • “Changing Role of Regional Educational Service Agencies in Supporting Rural School Improvement” (November 2009)