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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 relmidwest@air.org.

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REL Midwest events connect research to our region

By Marguerite Huber | August 16, 2018

Get a sneak peek at the events we are hosting in 2018 to help educators learn about and apply the most up-to-date education research to policy and practice.

 

Using technology to increase depth of learning

By Cora Goldston | August 6, 2018

Learn how REL Midwest is working with regional and school education staff to identify learning technology that could deepen students’ understanding of core content.

 

Resource roundup: Back to school

By Joni Wackwitz | August 6, 2018

Gear up for a new school year with these curated resources from across the REL Program and the What Works Clearinghouse.

 

Video: Kindergarten entry assessments

July 25, 2018

This video discusses the need for kindergarten entry assessments, provides an overview of what kindergarten entry assessments are, and explains the uses and benefits of kindergarten entry assessments.

 

Resource roundup: Knowledge utilization and data use in education

Meredith Lukow | July 25, 2018

This curated list of resources from across the REL Program provides guidance for gathering and using research evidence and data as well as for identifying evidence-based practices.

 

How can we increase quality educational opportunities for Black students? Conduct a gap analysis

Cora Goldston | July 5, 2018

REL Midwest’s infographic explains how educators can conduct a gap analysis to compare current policies and practices with research on improving educational outcomes among Black students.

 

Building a coordinated data system to support early childhood education

Cora Goldston | July 5, 2018

REL Midwest is supporting state efforts to coordinate early childhood data to inform multiagency research projects. Learn about challenges and takeaways from building a connected data system.

 

What is leadership coaching? How REL Midwest is supporting state strategic plans

Cora Goldston | June 22, 2018

REL Midwest conducts coaching to help state education agency leaders navigate change. Learn more about this service and how REL Midwest is helping one agency accomplish its strategic goals.

 

How to tackle early childhood data coordination challenges by sharing lessons learned across state lines

Meredith Lukow | June 22, 2018

At a recent REL Midwest webinar, early childhood stakeholders reviewed in depth Wisconsin’s process for developing a coordinated data system and learned lessons to apply in their own states.

 

Supporting the creation of a postsecondary readiness indicator

Marguerite Huber | June 22, 2018

A group of technical assistance providers, including REL Midwest, offered expertise and resources to help the Iowa Department of Education develop its Every Student Succeeds Act postsecondary readiness indicator.

 

Resource roundup: Summer learning

Joni Wackwitz | June 22, 2018

Grab a cold drink, find a comfortable spot in the sun, and browse our roundup of high-quality resources on summer learning from across the REL network.

 

Video: Supporting Black students’ excellence

June 22, 2018

Teachers and administrators in Wisconsin’s Racine Unified School District are implementing several strategies to improve educational outcomes for Black students.

 

Documentary casts light on novice teacher experience

Emily Kirkwood | May 18, 2018

A 2017 documentary from REL Midwest and Detroit Public Television explores research and real stories from Michigan on the novice teacher experience.

 

Examining teacher shortages and surpluses to improve equitable access to effective educators

Joni Wackwitz | May 18, 2018

REL Midwest is conducting a study to describe trends in teacher shortages and surpluses in public schools in Michigan. The findings will inform state efforts to address teacher shortages.

 

Resource roundup: Preparing new teachers

Marguerite Huber | May 18, 2018

REL Midwest curated a list of teacher preparation resources, including research reports, blogs, webinars, and toolkits.

 

Coordinating early childhood state data

Marguerite Huber | April 23, 2018

REL Midwest’s Early Childhood Education Alliance came together to share and discuss the process of creating an early childhood coordinated state data system.

 

Resource roundup: Early childhood education

Meredith Lukow | April 23, 2018

Looking for research on early childhood education? Check out these recent early childhood resources on the transition to kindergarten, kindergarten entry assessments, program quality, the workforce, and literacy.

 

Let’s talk about an important benefit of the research alliance structure

Emily Kirkwood | April 23, 2018

A Q&A with three Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance members explores the relationships that they have built through the partnership and how these connections might impact their work.

 

Assessing kindergarten children’s knowledge and skills

Joni Wackwitz | April 23, 2018

REL Midwest is conducting a study to analyze the results of the first statewide Kindergarten Individual Development Survey in Illinois. The findings will provide a snapshot of Illinois children’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors at kindergarten entry.

 

Helping kindergarten teachers understand their students and tailor instruction

Cora Goldston | April 23, 2018

Learn how REL Midwest is training teachers on using data from a kindergarten entry assessment to observe and develop students’ individual knowledge and skills.

 

Exploring the potential of teacher residencies

Natalya Gnedko-Berry | April 12, 2018

The Michigan Department of Education partnered with REL Midwest to conduct two trainings that introduced local stakeholders to teacher residency models and the program characteristics associated with positive outcomes.

 

Challenges and opportunities in building a teacher-residency program

Anne Tapp | April 12, 2018

Read how a university created and implemented its teacher residency program to respond to teacher shortage problems, with support along the way from REL Midwest.

 

Introducing the Midwest Alliance to Improve Knowledge Utilization

Meredith Lukow | March 22, 2018

REL Midwest’s newest research alliance aims to learn more about effective strategies for increasing the uptake of research results by state and local education agency staff.

 

Ask A REL resource roundup

Marguerite Huber | March 22, 2018

Look no further than the Ask A REL reference desk for your education research questions. Check out this compilation of our most recent Ask A REL responses across a variety of topics.

 

What predicts early college success in Indiana?

Marguerite Huber | March 7, 2018

REL Midwest assisted in understanding the early college success of students entering Indiana’s public two- and four-year colleges, with a specific focus on students receiving financial aid.

 

Personalized learning: Answering implementation questions

Cora Goldston | February 26, 2018

A new networked improvement community will examine the implementation of Personal Learning Plans for students’ postsecondary preparation.

 

Bringing a school counselor perspective to our career readiness work

Joni Wackwitz | February 26, 2018

The newest member of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance, Leah Zimmerman, is a licensed school counselor who helps students chart their career paths amid the ever-changing world of work.

 

Developing future-ready students in rural areas

Marguerite Huber | February 26, 2018

Regional events help inform REL Midwest’s work around rural issues, particularly when it comes to ensuring that students graduate ready to enter the workforce.

 

Have you seen these recent career readiness resources?

Emily Kirkwood | February 26, 2018

You won’t want to miss these resources from the College and Career Readiness and Success Center focused on the education-to-workforce pipeline and REL Midwest on American Indian education.

 

Alliance member snapshot: Leah Breen of the Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation

February 20, 2018

This video provides an overview of the Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation and its important work in Michigan, as described by alliance member Leah Breen.

 

Alliance member snapshot: Kim Nelson of the Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance

February 20, 2018

This video provides an overview of the Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance and its important work in Illinois, as described by alliance member Kim Nelson.

 

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...

Topics

Achievement Gap (15)

Career Readiness (17)

Early Childhood (12)

Education Technology (8)

Educator Effectiveness (2)

English Learners (3)

Research Methods (10)

Teacher Preparation (14)

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