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At REL Mid-Atlantic, regional needs drive the focus of our work. To learn what topics are important to our stakeholders in the education community of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, we conduct needs assessments. Recent conversations have surfaced initial needs in the following areas:

What Our Stakeholders Are Saying

Predicting Which Students Are at Immediate Risk for Academic Problems

  • Ted Dwyer, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Activities in addition to our alliance work

Planned and ongoing activities

This study will use historical data to examine the impact of attending a school mandating AP participation on students’ high school and AP exam outcomes, and the impact of AP teacher preparation on AP exam outcomes of their students. In addition, the study will examine these impacts for English learners and students with low academic achievement in middle school.

The REL is working with DCPS to understand what it is doing well for students with health conditions and whether there are any inequities in the supports that are provided. This descriptive study will provide information about the prevalence of health conditions in DCPS, the outcomes of students with health conditions, and the access these students have to supports designed to help them.

The REL will provide the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) with coaching and consultation in developing teacher and administrator surveys to measure how schools identified as having disproportionate rates of school discipline for subgroups of students are implementing their district’s action plan for reducing those disproportionalities. The coaching will help build MSDE’s capacity for developing and administering the surveys.

The REL is working with Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Propel Schools charter school network, and the Allegheny Department of Human Services to develop an approach for predicting which students are at risk for near- and long-term academic problems. This predictive model will use academic and behavior data collected by schools as well as DHS data on child welfare involvement, out-of-home placement, homelessness, receipt of public benefits, residence in public housing, and criminal justice involvement.

Completed activities

The goal of the 5th annual SDP R2P conference was to convene experts in education research, practice, and policy to share information about their latest research activities, lessons learned, and challenges. Presentations focused on research being conducted within Philadelphia, in addition to other schools and districts focusing on similar priorities. Researchers shared their work around four themes:

  • Preparing students to be college and career ready in grades 6-12
  • Supporting high-quality instruction (focus on grades K-5)
  • Contributing to Positive School Climate
  • Connecting and using data to make decisions

The REL helped SDP design and plan a pilot of the empathic discipline intervention. After this workshop, participants understood important considerations when planning a pilot, how to plan and execute an evaluation, and how to use the Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach to support evaluation.

The goal of the annual Research, Policy, and Practice (R2P) conference was to bridge research to practice by enabling participants to share information about their ongoing projects, lessons learned, and challenges faced. The topics of the conference, aligned with priorities and goals in Philadelphia, sought to connect researchers with practitioners and to help participants return to their schools with evidence-based practices to share with colleagues and implement.

Data use has become prevalent in education, with policymakers and educators promoting it at every level of the education system. The goal of the data summit was to convene educators from across the state to hear from experts, learn about innovations in the field, present their own work on data use, collaborate on data-related practices, and learn from one another.

We want to hear from you! Please contact us if you would like to join an alliance or if your state or district has a need not represented here.