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Works in Progress

REL Midwest conducts research studies and offers training, coaching, and technical support to address our partners’ research questions, provide policymakers and practitioners with information they need to make decisions, and build individual and organizational capacity to understand and use research in education policy and practice. We invite you to learn about our projects underway.

Works in Progress are posted after project proposals have gone through a rigorous peer review process.

Examining the Association Between Attending Different Types of High Schools in Indiana and Success in High School and Early College

This study is examining the high school and college outcomes of four consecutive cohorts of Indiana students. The findings will provide new information on high school quality by examining the association between attending high schools of different types—traditional public high schools, public charter high schools, and private high schools that participate in the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program—and factors associated with students’ high school completion, college and career readiness, and early college success.

Instructional Technology Practices Among Rural Public High Schools in Iowa

This study is using existing survey data to describe how educators in rural high schools use technology for teaching and learning, the challenges they face when integrating technology, and the factors that support the adoption of technology. Findings about technology use in rural high schools can inform policymakers in Iowa and other mostly rural states about these challenges and supporting factors.

The Postsecondary Pathways of Minnesota Public High School Graduates: Investigating Opportunity Gaps

In Minnesota, as in many other states, not all students have access to the types of educational experiences that are likely to lead to high-wage jobs. The Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance is investigating the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, focusing on opportunity gaps by high school locale and student characteristics. Drawing on data from Minnesota’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, this study is examining students’ pathways immediately following high school graduation and labor market outcomes six years later.

School- and Student-Level Factors Associated with Academic Outcomes for English Learners in an Urban Midwest School District

This study will examine six consecutive cross-sections of English learner students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in grades 3–8 from school years 2011/12 through 2016/17. The study will summarize the characteristics of the students and the features of the schools they attend, then examine the correlations between student and school characteristics and student performance on state assessments.

Examining Teacher Shortage and Surplus in Michigan

This study will examine existing teacher-, school-, and district-level data from school years 2008/09 to 2015/16 to describe patterns and trends in the supply and demand of teachers and teacher shortage and surplus in public schools in Michigan. In addition, the study will project teacher shortage and surplus in Michigan during the next five years.

Children’s Knowledge and Skills at Kindergarten Entry in Illinois: Results From the First Statewide Administration of the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is implementing a new, statewide kindergarten entry assessment titled Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS). Researchers in REL Midwest’s Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance (MECERA) will use quantitative data collected from KIDS to answer research questions about the psychometric properties of the data, the levels of skills children in Illinois have at kindergarten entry, and variations in these skills levels across subgroups and schools. In addition, researchers will collect information on barriers or obstacles that teachers and principals face during data collection to inform revisions to state-provided guidance or training.