Westat’s educational focus is our clients’ focus: identify the best ways to ensure quality education for all learners. So we find answers to support education equity, inclusive environments, teacher effectiveness, institutional capacity building, early learning, and better outcomes for students with disabilities.
Westat sets the benchmark for excellence in education by evaluating programs, helping build capacity, and providing training and program-centered technical assistance. We also provide support to national and international assessment programs. Our expertise includes early childhood to postsecondary education, effective educators, equity, literacy, educational technology, and personalized learning. Our staff specialize in program implementation and impact evaluation from design through analysis and policy-relevant reporting, as well as performance monitoring.
Early Education and Care
Westat’s research and technical assistance supports in early education and care encompass a wide range of topics, including cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and language development, as well as supportive instruction, assessment, policy, and professional development for early education and care staff, educators, and administrators. Throughout this work, Westat staff explore how to create inclusive and diverse educational environments that support the learning and development of all young children, including those from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as those with disabilities or special needs. Through our work in early education and care, Westat aims to advance our understanding of how young children learn and develop, and how to create high-quality, inclusive, and effective early education and care programs that promote the well-being of young children and their families.
How does student educational performance change over time? What are the experiences and opportunities related to differences in students’ educational performance? How does student educational performance vary across the states? How does the U.S. compare in terms of students’ educational performance internationally? The key tool to uncover the answers to these kinds of questions is educational assessment studies. Findings from educational assessment studies help inform policymakers and guide educational improvements for children, students, and adults worldwide. Westat is at the forefront of these efforts, fielding large-scale national and international educational assessment studies to track these issues and important trends, with the aim to support student learning both within the U.S. and across the globe.
Access to effective educators is key to student success—in and out of the classroom. Westat collaborates with educators and organizations to assess complexities and provide strategies, resources, and evidence-based practices to succeed at both the organizational and individual levels. We partner with federal and local entities to support areas that span the teacher and leader pipeline from preparation to retention, with a focus on diversifying, supporting, and retaining a highly effective and diverse educator workforce. Together with our partners, we build capacity in a variety of areas that support educators and, ultimately, lead to student success.
How should Accelerated Learning be implemented? How are educators best supported during implementation? Is there a different approach to implementing Accelerated Learning for students with diverse needs? How should families and other stakeholders be engaged during the acceleration process? Westat’s technical assistance and education policy teams have a deep understanding of evidence-based strategies that can support states, districts, and schools to accelerate learning through integrated and targeted supports, instructional approaches, tutoring, and high-quality out-of-school time.
Westat approaches the evolving learning and behavior needs of children with disabilities through activities that address nearly every aspect of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Westat conducts research projects to evaluate initiatives and programs focused on improving outcomes for children with disabilities and creates technical reports about the implementation of IDEA. Our nationally recognized technical assistance centers build capacity toward greater equity and offer states the services and resources they need to improve their IDEA data quality. Through these endeavors and many others, Westat strives to ensure the provision of the most effective education possible for every learner.
Creating successful STEM learners and broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are widely acknowledged to be critical goals of our educational system and essential to maintaining our global competitiveness. Westat works with a broad range of clients—federal agencies, foundations, state and local governments—to support and strengthen the STEM enterprise. Our work addresses resource equity, student learning, educator effectiveness, faculty development, and institutional capacity building. Our research, evaluation, and technical assistance examine both programs and strategies for attaining broadened participation and provide tools and technical assistance for knowledge dissemination and adoption of best practices.
Meet the Team
Deep Dive with Our Experts
Expert InterviewCircles of Reflection Toolkit: Improving Education for Native Students
For decades, Native students have faced significant opportunity gaps that impede their academic achievement and trajectories. To close these gaps, the Native Education Collaborative, supported…
Expert InterviewHow IDEA Helps Improve Child and Family Outcomes
Fiscal reporting helps to ensure the federal funds state agencies receive under the Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C of Individuals with Disabilities…