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Works in Progress

REL Northeast & Islands conducts applied 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 external peer review process that ensures all scientifically based REL work meets IES standards for research and evaluation.

Relationship Between Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Program Participation and Secondary and Postsecondary Academic Outcomes

Partnership: Rhode Island Pipelines to College and Career Research Partnership

Given the fast growth and high interest in dual and concurrent enrollment, and the large and persistent gaps in postsecondary outcomes among different student groups, stakeholders in Rhode Island would like to understand the relationship between student participation in such programs and postsecondary outcomes for students who graduate from high school and enroll in college. This study will examine the effect of participation in Rhode Island's accelerated college credit programs on students' secondary and postsecondary academic outcomes. Researchers will also explore the relationship between the type of accelerated college credit program—such as dual versus concurrent enrollment—and student outcomes.

Identifying Early School Improvement Indicators: Examining the Association Between School Turnaround Indicators and Improved School Outcomes in Massachusetts’ Lowest Performing Schools

Partnership: Massachusetts School Turnaround Research Partnership

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) uses a monitoring system and research-based turnaround practices and indicators (TP&I) continuum for schools identified as low performing. The TP&I continuum includes 26 indicators within four turnaround practices: (1) leadership, shared responsibility, and professional collaboration; (2) intentional practices for improving instruction; (3) student-specific instruction and supports to all students; and (4) school climate and culture. This study will examine the TP&I ratings collected during monitoring visits to low-performing Massachusetts schools across five years and will examine the extent to which schools’ TP&I indicator ratings are related to school-level student achievement growth in mathematics and English language arts, and to schoolwide chronic absenteeism rates.

The Relationship Between Attendance-Focused Text Messaging and Chronic Absenteeism in Providence Public School District

Partnership: N/A

During the 2018/19 school year, Providence Public School District (PPSD) began district-wide implementation of an attendance-focused text messaging system called Kinvolved. This system is used as a tool to update families/guardians on student attendance and also provides school and district officials with real-time data. REL Northeast & Islands is collaborating with PPSD to examine schools' reported implementation of various attendance supports, including Kinvolved, and the association between these attendance supports and schools' chronic absenteeism rates. REL Northeast & Islands will conduct descriptive and correlational analyses using secondary administrative data provided by PPSD as well as raw data from the Kinvolved system.

Boston Public Schools’ New Teacher Development Program: Mentoring Practices and New Teacher Retention

Alliance: Professional Learning and Development Research Alliance

Given that beginning teachers are often retained at lower rates and are rated as less effective than more experienced teachers, many states have adopted mandatory teacher induction programs to help alleviate some of the challenges associated with early-career teaching. REL Northeast & Islands is collaborating with Boston Public Schools to examine the association between the mentoring practices of its first-year teacher mentoring program—the New Teacher Development program—and new teacher retention. Researchers will perform a series of descriptive and correlational analyses using survey data collected by the program in the 2018/19 school year.

Practitioner Brief: Understanding the Link Between Fidelity of Implementation and Professional Development Outcomes

Alliance: Professional Learning and Development Research Alliance

This project aims to address the need for practitioner-friendly resources to support district leaders in evaluating professional development activities in their districts. The brief will introduce district leaders and others involved in professional development (PD) management to key concepts related to PD evaluation, with a special focus on implementation fidelity and the role it plays in evaluating teacher and student outcomes.

Teacher Supply in New York: Pathways, Placement, and Retention

Partnership or Research Alliance: Teacher Preparation Research Alliance

Teacher shortages are prevalent in specific districts and content areas in New York State. For this study, REL Northeast & Islands is working with the New York State Education Department to examine certification pathways by which new teachers enter the workforce, the content areas of their certificates, where new teachers are employed, and their retention rates.