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Works In Progress

REL Mid-Atlantic conducts applied research studies to address our partners’ research questions and provide policymakers and practitioners with information they need to increase their capacity to make data driven decisions. Applied research is critical for informing practice and effecting educational improvement. Works in progress are posted after project proposals have gone through a rigorous peer review process.

Learn more about our research studies currently underway.

Assess rules for identifying schools for support and improvement

REL Mid-Atlantic is conducting a Just-in-Time study that will examine how specific aspects of the accountability system rules in Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia affect the types of schools identified for support.

Describing characteristics and outcomes of high school equivalency exam takers in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Education has requested information about the three High School Equivalency (HSE) exams offered in the state: (1) the GED, (2) the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, and (3) the High School Equivalency Test. This study will offer New Jersey useful information about the characteristics of the test takers, their test performance, and differences among the tests. This will inform oversight of the HSE assessments, including the setting of cut scores and policies that could address barriers to access to some exams for certain groups.

Predictors of near-term academic problems

REL Mid Atlantic is working with Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), the Propel Schools charter school network, and the Allegheny Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop an approach for predicting which students are at risk for near- and long-term academic problems. The inclusion of DHS data will provide school staff a more holistic view of events occurring in students' lives to identify at-risk students in need of intervention or support. By predicting these intermediate problems early, educators can target resources for the most at-risk students and intervene before problems get more serious.

Supporting Students with Health Conditions in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)

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. This information will help DCPS identify inequities and develop an action plan to better support students with health conditions in the future.

Effectiveness of Strategies for Presenting School Report Card Data to Parents

The Every Student Succeeds Act requires that state education agencies disseminate school report cards that provide information about school performance, but leaves considerable latitude for how the report cards are designed. The design of information displays like school report cards can have a substantial effect on users. The goal of this study is to provide guidance about how these design choices influence comprehension of school report card contents and user experience.

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.

Measuring School Performance for Early Elementary Grades for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

REL Mid-Atlantic is partnering with MSDE to develop a valid measure of school-level academic growth between kindergarten and grade 3. This study will allow MSDE to better understand the feasibility of developing such a measure, as well as its strengths or limitations. A valid growth measure of the early elementary grades will help MSDE identify and support low performing schools and schools with best practices to replicate.

Evaluation of the impact of structured relationship-building teacher home visiting on student and teacher outcomes

This study will evaluate the impacts of structured teacher home visits conducted as part of the District of Columbia Public Schools' (DCPS) Family Engagement Partnership (FEP) and Family Engagement Collaborative (FEC) programs. The study will provide information to help DCPS and other districts across the country determine the best ways to use their resources to improve parent engagement.

Identifying a School Readiness Threshold for Philadelphia

REL Mid-Atlantic is working with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning to develop an indicator of school readiness at kindergarten entry that could measure intermediate progress towards Philadelphia’s goal of increasing the percentage of grade 4 students who can read on grade level by 2020.

Teacher characteristics and retention and mobility in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP)

SDP seeks to recruit new teachers and retain its most effective teachers. The district has prioritized understanding the characteristics, effectiveness, mobility, and retention of its teachers using its data. This study will inform SDP's strategic human capital policies by providing insights on recruitment and retention.