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What did REL Midwest do in 2018? Check out our year in review

2018 year in review

By Cora Goldston
February 14, 2019

The team at Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest is working hard to conduct education research, host training and coaching sessions to support evidence-based practices, and share research and products with the broader education field. As we continue to meet the needs of state, local, and school-level practitioners, we wanted to take a look back at all REL Midwest accomplished in 2018.

Download our infographic [233 KB PDF icon ] for a by the numbers look at REL Midwest in 2018.

By the numbers infographic cover

A new research-practice partnership

Last year, we expanded our list of research alliances with the addition of the Midwest Alliance to Improve Knowledge Utilization (MAIKU). This partnership, which includes state education agency staff from four Midwest states, focuses on sharing strategies to increase evidence-based practices and decisionmaking at the state and local education levels. During 2018, MAIKU hosted training and coaching sessions to increase evidence use, including coaching sessions on determining Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) tiers of evidence and trainings on the fundamentals of conducting and analyzing research.

Two published research reports and seven studies in progress

In 2018, REL Midwest published two “just in time” research reports and accompanying infographics in response to state education agency requests. One report, along with its related infographic [289 KB PDF icon ], examines how academic and financial supports correlate to early college success for Indiana public high school graduates. The other report and infographic [347 KB PDF icon ] highlight findings from a literature review on evidence-based practices associated with Black students’ academic success.

REL Midwest also began or continued work on seven additional research studies:

Ten trainings and 24 coaching sessions

REL Midwest conducted 10 trainings to support research use in 2018. Staff delivered workshops on using data from the Illinois Kindergarten Individual Developmental Survey (KIDS) observation tool to kindergarten teachers and district staff who train teachers on KIDS. In addition, staff provided research methods trainings to state education staff in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

We also hosted 24 coaching sessions for state education agency staff and partnership members, including four sessions for the Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community. Other coaching sessions focused on implementing effective state agency leadership practices, reporting outcomes, conducting teacher exit surveys, and gathering information about the teacher workforce.

Forty-one Ask A REL responses

One of our goals is to connect educators to research that can support their school, district, or state needs. In 2018, REL Midwest posted 41 Ask A REL reference desk responses to answer education research questions submitted from the field. The responses cover a variety of topics, from secondary leadership practices and literacy to school readiness to STEM work-based learning. You can browse REL Midwest’s archived Ask A REL responses or submit a research question of your own.

Four bridge events and three public TV documentaries

REL Midwest hosted seven public events to bridge research and practice in 2018, including three webinars, one in-person event, and three public TV documentary screenings. Our webinars highlighted financial and academic supports for college-bound students, strategies to increase the use of evidence-based practices, and the fundamentals of networked improvement community research. In October, we hosted an in-person event in Michigan to help teacher preparation program staff and K-12 district staff align their expectations for the knowledge and skills that new teachers need to succeed.

In addition, REL Midwest screened three public TV documentaries that we produced in 2018. The first program highlights career readiness initiatives in rural Minnesota and was a co-production with Twin Cities Public Television. The second program, a co-production with Detroit Public Television, focuses on supports for Latino students in Detroit schools. The final program explores play-based learning in Illinois kindergarten classrooms and was a co-production with Chicago Public Television.

We look forward to sharing more resources in the year to come.

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Author(s) Information

Cora Goldston Staff Picture

Cora Goldston

Communications Associate | REL Midwest


Beating the odds (2)

Charter Schools (2)

College and Career Readiness (42)

Data Use (32)

Discipline (4)

Early Childhood (31)

Educator Effectiveness (36)

English Learners (10)

Literacy (11)

Math (1)

Online Courses (7)

Research Tools (2)

Rural (14)

Teacher Preparation (24)

Teacher Recruitment (2)

Teacher Retention (2)

Teacher Workforce (14)

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