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Our 2019 accomplishments: REL Midwest year in review

Our 2019 accomplishments: Year in review

By Sara Mitrano
January 30, 2020

Before we get down to the work of 2020, let’s take a moment to celebrate all we accomplished in 2019!

Last year, the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest partnered with practitioners, policymakers, and others to tackle pressing education issues in our region. Working primarily through collaborative research partnerships, we addressed stakeholders’ priorities through integrated sets of support, including research studies, training and coaching, resource development, and dissemination. Through this work, we advanced our ongoing mission to drive changes in policy and practice that will lead to improved teacher and student outcomes.

> View our infographic for a snapshot of our achievements in 2019.

Published five research reports to address our partnerships’ key research questions

In 2019, REL Midwest published the results of five research studies that we conducted in collaboration with our partnerships. These reports, along with four related infographics and a video, are helping to strengthen our partners’ understanding of critical education issues they have identified and to inform efforts to improve education for students across the region.

REL Midwest also began or continued work on nine additional research studies.

Conducted 14 training and 28 coaching sessions to support evidence-based policy and practice

Drawing on our studies, the research literature, and best practices, REL Midwest worked with our partners to develop 14 training and 28 coaching sessions in 2019. These sessions helped build stakeholder capacity to understand and use research to guide policy and practice and to improve teaching and learning. Here are some highlights:

The archived materials from training and coaching sessions are available for your use.

Produced three public television documentaries to explore topics of interest to our partnerships

REL Midwest produces documentaries in collaboration with public television stations and our research partnerships to delve into education topics related to our partners’ ongoing work. These half-hour programs examine relevant research, highlight evidence-based practices being implemented in our region, and amplify different voices and perspectives to support changes in practice. In 2019, we produced three documentaries:

In addition, we hosted four public screenings of our documentaries to spark discussion around the strategies depicted and to help promote changes in practice. After each screening, a panel of subject matter experts discussed the documentary and engaged in conversation with the audience.

Created three videos to build stakeholders’ capacity and inform policy and practice

In addition to documentaries, REL Midwest created three shorter videos in 2019 to support our partnerships’ goals, highlight key findings from our research studies, and assist educators in our region in identifying and implementing evidence-based practices.

Hosted four events to bridge research and practice

To further support our research partnerships, we hosted one in-person event and three webinars in 2019 to help educators and policymakers both across our region and nationally learn about and apply the most up-to-date research to improve student outcomes.

Our in-person event, cohosted by the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance and the Minnesota Department of Education, explored effective strategies to prepare students with disabilities to become college and career ready. Our webinars focused on the following topics:

Developed 40 Ask A REL research scans in response to requests from the field

Through the Ask A REL service, REL Midwest provided references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations to 40 research-based education questions submitted from the field. The REL Program provides this collaborative reference desk service free of charge.

Our three most popular Ask A REL research scans in 2019 addressed the following topics:

To see more responses, browse REL Midwest’s Ask A REL archive. We also encourage you to submit a research question of your own.

Thank you for your interest and support. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together in 2020!

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Author Information

Sara Mitrano Staff Picture

Sara Mitrano

Research Associate | REL Midwest


Beating the odds (2)

Charter Schools (2)

College and Career Readiness (41)

Data Use (31)

Discipline (4)

Early Childhood (30)

Educator Effectiveness (36)

English Learners (10)

Literacy (10)

Math (1)

Online Courses (7)

Research Tools (2)

Rural (14)

Teacher Preparation (23)

Teacher Recruitment (1)

Teacher Retention (1)

Teacher Workforce (13)

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