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REL Midwest Blog

Welcome to the REL Midwest Blog, where you can find stories about our partnerships, projects, priority areas, and more. Have a story idea? Send it to us at

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How can states equip school districts to adopt evidence-based interventions?

Meredith Lukow | February 5, 2018

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires districts to use evidence-based interventions in low-performing schools. But how do districts know which programs meet ESSA’s threshold? Learn how one state department of education is approaching this challenge with help from REL Midwest.


Research alliances: Structures for collaboration

Marguerite Huber | January 26, 2018

REL Midwest is committed to using research in education. Our new video highlights the role practitioners play in driving REL Midwest research activities and describes our research alliance structure.


Culturally responsive practices bring educators together

Marguerite Huber | January 26, 2018

REL Midwest and a regional education agency in Wisconsin convened educators to learn more about the research on culturally responsive practices to help schools improve educational outcomes for Black students.


Resource roundup: Improving outcomes for students of color

Cora Goldston | January 26, 2018

Want more information on how to better support students of color? We have rounded up high-quality resources on the topic, including research reports, infographics, and webinars.


REL Midwest offers workshops to expand data capacity

Marguerite Huber | December 28, 2017

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction collects a substantial amount of school data. To help staff effectively use it, REL Midwest is leading a workshop series on best practices for collecting, using, and sharing data.


Education Week spotlights researcher and practitioner perspectives on online teacher survey

Emily Kirkwood | December 15, 2017

Check us out in Education Week! A former alliance lead and two members wrote about our study on online teachers’ experiences to illustrate a research-practice partnership in action.


New video dives into the details of developing a collaborative research agenda

Marguerite Huber | November 29, 2017

REL Midwest works closely with our partners to develop long-term research agendas. Our newest video provides an overview of this research agenda-setting process and shares tips for how you, too, can develop a collaborative research agenda.


Top 7 facts about REL Midwest in 2017

Meredith Lukow | November 20, 2017

For a by-the-numbers overview of the year, check out these top facts you should know about Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s work in 2017.

Sharing RELevant research: The Ask A REL reference desk

Cora Goldston | November 8, 2017

Looking for education research? Learn how our Ask A REL reference desk can help you find relevant research in a snap.

A year of work toward closing the achievement gap

Marguerite Huber | November 8, 2017

The Midwest Achievement Gap Research Alliance has had a busy first year of work, including an environmental scan, a literature review, and an in-person event.

Education research resource roundup

Emily Kirkwood | November 8, 2017

In case you missed them, we compiled a list of REL Midwest reports and other resources that were published in 2017.

Policymaking in Indiana benefits from cross-agency data collaboration

Jim Lindsay | October 18, 2017

The Indiana Network of Knowledge (INK), part of the state’s Management Performance Hub, develops structures, rules, and processes for the state’s longitudinal data system. Using data from this system, REL Midwest partnered with INK to explore the relationship between financial aid and early college success for disadvantaged students.


Research methods workshop series: Building Wisconsin’s capacity for education research

Joni Wackwitz | October 18, 2017

Educators rely on data and research evidence to understand what works. Learn how the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is partnering with REL Midwest on a workshop series to build educators’ capacity to conduct, understand, and apply research.


Michigan Department of Education seeks to create a plan to expand clinically oriented teacher preparation programs in the state with REL Midwest training

Sarah Rand | October 18, 2017

Clinically oriented teacher preparation programs, often referred to as teacher residencies, provide teacher candidates with opportunities to develop instructional skills by working in the classroom under the direction of an experienced teacher.


Collaborating for English learner student success in Cleveland

Marguerite Huber | October 12, 2017

REL Midwest and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) are collaborating to study the district’s Multilingual Multicultural Education Program and its rapidly expanding population of English learner students.


Meet the NIC member: Michelle Cowell

Cora Goldston | September 27, 2017

Michelle Cowell is an instructional technology consultant for the Central Rivers AEA in Iowa. Cowell tells us how she anticipates the work of the Iowa NIC will complement the AEA’s efforts to improve technology integration in rural districts.


Education technology and continuous improvement resources and events

Marguerite Huber | September 27, 2017

A number of high-quality resources related to continuous improvement and education technology are available online. We curated the following resources, including several from REL Midwest.


Cultural awareness in the classroom: American Indian education and cultural competency

Sarah Rand | September 27, 2017

This post features programs implemented by the Office of Indian Education at the Minnesota Department of Education that are aiming to improve educators’ cultural competence when educating American Indian students.


Collaboration for success: Networked improvement communities

Cora Goldston | September 19, 2017

To explore the use of education technology in rural schools, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest is working with the Iowa Department of Education, Central Rivers Area Education Agency, and...


Upcoming documentary connects the research on education technology to stories from Iowa

Marguerite Huber | September 19, 2017

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest has been working with the Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community and...


Culturally responsive instruction: Best practices and supports

Cora Goldston | September 19, 2017

This is the second article in a three-part blog series. In this series, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest takes an...


A partner in continuous improvement: Central Rivers Area Education Agency

Joni Wackwitz | September 12, 2017

In the small towns and farm country of Iowa, technology serves as a key support for students and educators. To strengthen this...


Cultural awareness in the classroom: Kennedy Elementary

Emily Kirkwood | September 8, 2017

In a three-part blog series, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest takes an up-close look at cultural competency in education...


Career readiness resources and events

Claire Suh | August 25, 2017

A number of high–quality resources related to career readiness are available online. We curated the following resources, including...


Project takes deeper dive into World's Best Workforce plans

Emily Loney | August 25, 2017

REL Midwest is collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to do a 'deep dive' into district World's Best...


State liaison builds coalitions among researchers and local stakeholders

Claire Suh | August 25, 2017

For Taishya Adams, the Minnesota state liaison for Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, the North Star State is familiar...


Meet the partnership facilitator: Jenny Scala

Cora Goldston | August 17, 2017

Jenny Scala may be new to the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance (MCRRA), but this isn't her first collaborative...

Meet the alliance member: Paula Palmer

Joni Wackwitz | August 17, 2017

Paula Palmer, a member of our Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance (MCRRA), is the director of career and college success...

Meet the alliance member: Chrishirella Warthen-Sutton, Ph.D.

Joni Wackwitz | June 22, 2017

MAGRA member Chrishirella Warthen-Sutton, Ph.D., is the manager of the Office of Family and Community Engagement for the Racine Unified School District...

Task force asks successful educators to share insights about closing the achievement gap

Emily Kirkwood | June 22, 2017

The achievement gap, or the difference in academic performance among different groups of students, poses a significant problem to...

How will MAGRA tackle the achievement gap?

Emily Loney | June 22, 2017

MAGRA will launch two projects in 2017 that support Wisconsin DPI's continued efforts to close the Black–White achievement gap...

Meet the Alliance Member: Leah Breen

Cora Goldston | May 24, 2017

Leah Breen is a member of MAITP and serves as the director of the Office of Professional Preparation Services at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Breen is no stranger to REL Midwest–she was a member of the...

Partners use interactive workshops to establish research agenda

Sarah Rand | May 24, 2017

At REL Midwest, our researchers work with practitioners—state education agency staff, teachers, principals, and school administrators—to figure what is important...

New projects investigate teacher pipeline and residency programs

Emily Loney | May 24, 2017

REL Midwest will lead two projects in 2017 that support the Michigan Department of Education (MDE)'s focus on ensuring equitable access to effective teachers...

Meet the alliance member: Kimberly Nelson

Emily Loney | March 27, 2017

Kimberly Nelson is a member of MECERA and serves as the executive director of early childhood for the Rockford (IL) Public School District. Nelson supervises...


Achievement Gap (12)

Career Readiness (9)

Early Childhood (3)

Education Technology (7)

English Learners (2)

Research Methods (7)

Teacher Preparation (7)

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