Powering educational systems by generating, translating and disseminating the best research, information and knowledge
SERVE Center - The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Research in Practice



As the Regional Educational Laboratory-Southeast, we assist educators and policymakers in their efforts to apply the evidence base to decisions about policies, programs, and practices by disseminating applied research and development that include rigorous studies and fast response projects. In addition, we provide educators and policymakers with hands-on technical assistance that goes beyond information sharing by concretely demonstrating how to apply research in practice in wasy that can improve outcomes for all students.

Issues & Answers

Issues and Answers reports arise from the needs in the region. This integrative, cross-state approach is a collaborative one and ensures that the final reports meet the needs of our region’s stakeholders. Recent publications include:

Issues & Answers 2007-004A Review of Methods and Instruments Used in State and Local School Readiness Evaluations - This report provides detailed information about the methods and instruments used to evaluate school readiness initiatives, discusses important considerations in selecting instruments, and provides resources and recommendations that may be helpful to those who are designing and implementing school readiness evaluations.

Issues & Answers 2011-106Career Academies in 12 Florida School Districts - This report describes career academies in 12 Florida school districts in the 2006/07 school year. It examines their structure and career clusters, the high schools offering them, and the students enrolled.



Issues & Answers 2007-003Evidence-Based Decisionmaking: Assessing Reading Across the Curriculum Interventions - When selecting reading across the curriculum interventions, educators should consider the extent of the evidence base on intervention effectiveness and the fit with the school or district context, whether they are purchasing a product from vendors or developing it internally. This report provides guidance in the decisionmaking.

Issues & Answers 2007-024Levers for Change: Southeast Region State Initiatives to Improve High Schools - This descriptive report aims to stimulate discussion about high school reform among Southeast Region states. The report groups recent state activities in high school reform into six "levers for change." To encourage critical reflection, the report places the reform discussion in the context of an evidence-based decisionmaking process and provides sample research on reform activities.

Issues & Answers 2011-098Measuring Student Engagement in Upper Elementary through High School: A Description of 21 Instruments - This report reviews the characteristics of 21 instruments that measure student engagement in upper elementary through high school. It summarizes what each instrument measures, describes its purposes and uses, and provides technical information on its psychometric properties.


Issues & Answers 2008-065
Preparing Elementary School Teachers in the Southeast Region to Work with Students with Disabilities
 - The study examines the extent to which elementary education teacher preparation programs in 36 randomly selected colleges and universities in the six Southeast Region states integrate content related to students with disabilities. Most programs require one disability-focused course, two-thirds incorporate fieldwork related to students with disabilities, and more than half incorporate disability content into their mission statements.

Issues & Answers 2009-076Reducing Stereotype Threat in Classrooms: A Review of Social-Psychological Intervention Studies on Improving the Achievement of Black Students - Stereotype threat arises from a fear among members of a group of reinforcing negative stereotypes about the intellectual ability of the group. The report identifies three randomized controlled trial studies that use classroom-based strategies to reduce stereotype threat and improve the academic performance of Black students, narrowing their achievement gap with White students.

Issues & Answers 2011-101Replication of a Career Academy Model: The Georgia Central Educational Center and Four Replication Sites - The study surveyed four career academies in Georgia that replicated the model of the Georgia Central Educational Center, which integrates technical instruction and academics at the high school level. The four replication sites adhered to the major tenets of the model. The model's flexibility helped the new sites meet community needs.

Issues & Answers 2008-063State Policies and Procedures and Selected Local Implementation Practices in Response to Intervention in the Six southeast Region States - This report describes how six state education agencies and three local education agencies in the Southeast Region are adopting and implementing Response to Intervention-an education approach designed to provide effective, evidence-based interventions for struggling learners.


Issues & Answers reportTitle III Accountability Policies and Outcomes For K–12: Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for English Language Learner Students in Southeast Region States  - This report provides an overview of key elements of the Title III annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAO) in the South-east Region states for 2007/08: number and type of Title III subgrantees, English language proficiency assessments used, and state and subgrantee performance in meeting AMAO accountability targets.


EBE Request Desk  Evidence Based Education (EBE) REsource Desk


The EBE Resource Desk is a point of contact for taking and responding to research questions across the region. It provides information and resources relevant to your education-related questions. The primary clients are state education staff, superintendents, principals, district-level specialists, legislatures, and teachers. Have a question? Contact us.

If you are looking for references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research based education questions, contact our EBE Resource Desk.   


Responding to the Region Responding to the Region

Our Responding to the Region section answers the most frequently posed questions by policymakers and educators across the Southeast region. Some of the most prevalent topics include:






Vocabulary Study

The Effectiveness of a Program to Accelerate Vocabulary Development in Kindergarten

The REL Southeast conducted a randomized control trial in the Mississippi Delta to test the impact of a kindergarten vocabulary instruction program on students’ expressive vocabulary. The study titled, The Effectiveness of a Program to Accelerate Vocabulary Development in Kindergarten (K-PAVE), found a significant positive impact for student’s vocabulary development and academic knowledge, as well as for the classroom instruction outcome of vocabulary and comprehension support. In addition:
  • Kindergarteners who received the K-PAVE intervention were one month further ahead in vocabulary development at the end of kindergarten compared with their peers who did not receive the intervention. However, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups on measures of kindergarten listening comprehension.
  • The kindergarten teachers trained in the program were significantly more likely than their peers who did not receive K-PAVE training to engage in activities intended to support students' vocabulary and comprehension development. However, the program did not produce a statistically significant impact on either instructional or emotional support in the classroom. Additionally, the program did not impact the amount of instructional time spent on literacy in areas other than vocabulary and comprehension.