This website was supported by contract number ED-IES-12-C-0003, the 2012-2017 Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Funding for this contract has expired and this website is no longer being maintained. Please visit the IES website for more information about the Regional Educational Laboratory Program.

Our Region

Understanding the context of the people and communities we serve shapes our work

The Northwest region is characterized by a few large urban areas separated by vast rural expanses. Of its 2.1 million public school students, almost half are concentrated in the five largest metropolitan areas, while more than 40 percent of Northwest districts have fewer than 250 students. The remote, rural areas of the Northwest face particular challenges in delivering educational services and building local capacity for implementing and sustaining new policies and programs.

Significant enrollment trends* in the region's K–12 public schools include:

*Enrollment trends displayed above:

  • The number of children under 18 years of age in families with income below the federal poverty guidelines increased 30 percent from 2007 to 2012.
  • The proportion of English language learner students in the Northwest region states was 46 percent higher in 2011–12 (192,095) than in 1997–98 (60,193).
  • The number of Hispanic students has nearly quadrupled, going from 106,000 in 1992–93 to 395,000 in 2012–13. They are not only the fastest growing minority group, but also by far the largest.