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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:

Activities in addition to our alliance work

Planned and ongoing activities

Disproportionality in school discipline: An updated assessment in Maryland through 2017

REL Mid-Atlantic is partnering with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to conduct analyses of MSDE's school discipline data. MSDE seeks to identify trends in, and school characteristics associated with, disproportionate rates of exclusionary discipline for students based on race/ethnicity and disability status. The study will answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the trends in school removals (out-of-school suspensions and expulsions) in Maryland from 2009–2010 to 2016–2017, both overall and by student group?
  2. What are the overall trends in characteristics of disciplinary responses during this period?
  3. What are the characteristics of schools with discipline disproportionalities?

Principal Investigator: Johanna Lacoe

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

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 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.