Technical Working Group Meeting Summaries
Teacher doing a lesson with her class

NCER convenes technical working groups periodically. A technical working group is an ad hoc group of experts on a particular topic who work together on specific goals. These meetings are often meant to encourage stakeholders to discuss the state of research on a topic and/or to identify gaps in research.

Researching the Influence of School Leaders on Student Outcomes IES Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
August 20, 2015

In August 2015, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) convened a technical working group (TWG) for advice on how to strengthen NCER's portfolio of research on the influence of school leaders on student outcomes. The TWG included nine education researchers and practitioners with experience designing and conducting research on school leadership and Department of Education staff. The TWG discussion focused on four areas: (1) theories about the relationship between school leadership and student achievement, (2) leadership standards, (3) professional development, (4) impact of school leaders on student achievement. This meeting summary covers the major points of discussion and the recommendations that were offered.

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IES Mixed Methods in Education Research Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
May 29, 2015

In May 2015, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) convened a technical working group (TWG) of experts on the use of mixed methods in educational research to provide recommendations to IES and the field on promoting high-quality mixed methods research. For the purpose of this meeting, mixed methods research was defined as the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods. The TWG comprised 10 education researchers with experience designing and conducting research using mixed methods and IES staff. This meeting summary covers the major points of discussion and the suggestions that were offered.

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IES Rural Education Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
December 8, 2014

In December 2014, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education convened a technical working group (TWG) of experts in the field of rural education to provide input on research needs in this field and how research could be more relevant and useful to rural communities. Ten rural education experts were invited to attend, including individuals working in the K–12 system, national associations, universities, and research organizations. The TWG discussion focused on four broad areas: (1) current issues in rural education research, (2) overview of prior large-scale IES investments in rural education research, (3) challenges and priorities, and (4) synthesis and next steps. This meeting summary covers all of the discussion points of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Practitioner Perspectives on Emerging Research Needs and Improving Relevance in Education Research
March 3, 2014 – Capital Place, Washington, D.C.

In March 2014, The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, convened a technical working group (TWG) of practitioners to provide input on research needs in education and how research could be more relevant and useful to the field. Fifteen expert practitioners in the field of education were invited to attend, including individuals working in state education and legislative offices, districts, and schools as well as non-profit organizations and postsecondary institutions. The TWG discussion focused on five broad sessions: (1) making research available through effective dissemination; (2) research needs for elementary, middle, and high school; (3) research needs for early intervention; (4) research needs for post-secondary/career readiness; and (5) researcher-practitioner collaborations. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Researcher Perspectives on Strengthening IES's Research Grant and Training Programs
October 16, 2014 – Capital Place, Washington, D.C.

In October 2014, The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, convened a technical working group (TWG). The purpose of this TWG meeting was to discuss critical education problems and issues on which high-quality research is needed, the development or adaptation of new methodological approaches for addressing these issues, the role of IES research training programs in preparing of the next generation of researchers, and ways to prioritize the use of limited funds to support credible research that impacts policy and practice. The TWG consisted of 17 experts in the field of education research who work in universities and research organizations. The TWG discussion focused on five broad sessions: (1) characteristics of influential research; (2) critical, unaddressed issues in education research; (3) advancing research methods; (4) improving IES's training programs; and (5) targeting resources. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Researching College- and Career-Ready Standards to Improve Student Outcomes
August 19–20, 2013— Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, Washington, D.C.

In August, IES worked with the National Science Foundation and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to convene a technical working group to discuss research objectives related to college- and career-ready standards in English language arts and mathematics. Forty people were invited to attend (including researchers, practitioners, and federal and foundation staff) the one-and-a-half-day meeting. Participants were asked to focus specifically on issues at the classroom level and to think about short-, medium-, and long-term research objectives. Sessions focused on math and English language arts content, implications for students with disabilities and English language learners, measuring classroom practice, and district and school-level support for implementation. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and outlines both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Advancing Adult Education Research
April 26, 2012—Capital Place, Washington, D.C.

Research on adult education presents many challenges, including high student and teacher attrition, small effect sizes, missing data due to open/rolling admissions, and extreme heterogeneity within the population. To address these challenges and discuss possible solutions, NCER convened a group six adult education researchers, two state directors, and five research methodologists in the spring of 2012. The panelists discussed the need for new adult education research, the difficulties that arise in conducting and interpreting it, and methodological approaches to designing and analyzing studies in these settings. The meeting summary captures this discussion and includes a list of remaining topics and questions posed by the panelists.

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