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Towards Broadening Our Understanding of Education Research and Its Use (Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness Conference)

On March 9, 2020, the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness announced that its March 2020 conference is cancelled. REL Midwest will post an update on this page if an opportunity is provided to share this presentation virtually in the future.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Time: 9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. Eastern Time

Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Spring 2020 Conference
Salon 6
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
2800 South Potomac Ave.
Arlington, VA 22202


This session at Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness spring 2020 conference explores how three collaborations between research and practice support evidence-informed policy.

A key objective of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is equitable access to effective teachers for all students in the state. Access to effective teachers, however, is hindered by teacher shortages. To gain a nuanced understanding of teacher shortages and project future trends in teacher supply and demand, MDE partnered with REL Midwest to conduct a study of teacher shortages in Michigan. The partnership includes the Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation (MAITP)—a group of stakeholders from Michigan districts, public and charter schools, universities, and teachers’ union who share in MDE’s objective to improve access to effective teachers. Using administrative MDE data and publicly available data, REL researchers conducted a systematic analysis of trends in teacher demand, supply, and shortages in Michigan public schools.

Since its release, REL Midwest researchers have disseminated findings to MDE, MAITP members, and other Michigan stakeholders and collected their feedback. The panelists draw on this feedback to discuss how MDE and other education stakeholders have used or plan to use the study’s findings to address teacher shortages in Michigan. The panelists also discuss how the state, in collaboration with teacher preparation institutions, may address a rapid decline the number of newly certified teachers in Michigan, for instance through changes in teacher preparation and certification requirements. The panelists devote extra attention to programs and policies for attracting existing teachers to where they are needed the most as the study suggests that Michigan has and will continue to have a sufficient supply of active teachers, but the supply is misaligned with demand. Finally, the panelists discuss how the study met or did not meet the needs of the partnership and what additional research evidence the partnership may need moving forward.

Partnership: Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation


  • Kristen Davidson, University of Colorado—Boulder
  • Clare Irwin, REL Northeast and Islands
  • Yinmei Wan, REL Midwest