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Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, & Texas

Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance, REL Southwest

This alliance seeks to investigate three research topics: effective professional development strategies in rural schools, use of data to inform instruction in rural schools, and challenges American Indian students face in rural schools. This research focus will be applied to identify and address the factors that contribute to or impede school performance in rural areas, with particular attention to challenges and solutions for strengthening college and career readiness among rural students.

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Alliance Work

Work in Progress: Indicator Study to Identify Promising Predictors of Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Oklahoma Rural Schools

Work in Progress: Measuring Teachers' Access to Professional Development Practices in Oklahoma by School Locale: A Descriptive Analysis

Bridge Event: Strengthening School Partnerships with Native Families and Communities, November 8, 2016

Bridge Event: Culturally Responsive Resources for Native Students, May 11, 2016

Bridge Event: Implementing a Data Literate Culture at the School and Teacher Levels Pt. II, April 2, 2015

Bridge Event: Implementing a Data Literate Culture at the School and Teacher Levels Pt. I, October 29, 2014

Bridge Event: Examining REL Alliance Structures: Affordances and Challenges (REL Northeast & Islands, REL Southwest, and REL West), May 12, 2014

Bridge Event: Aspirations of Rural Youth, October 3, 2013

Other Alliance Work:

Workshop: Identifying Promising Family Engagement Practices, November 19, 2015

Workshop: Effective Data Use at the Classroom Level, November 13, 2014

Workshop: Educators and Data Use II, September 11, 2014

Workshop: Educators and Data Use I, August 7, 2014

Workshop: Framing Your Research Agenda Using a Research Continuum, October 24, 2013

Research Questions:

  • Data Availability and Use
    • What extant data relevant to achievement gaps in Oklahoma are available at the federal, state, and local levels to help the Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance members focus their research agenda and inform their study designs? And what are the gaps in the existing data?
    • What is known about promising data use practices that educators utilize to inform their instructional decisions and to modify their teaching practices?
    • Which of these practices could be modified to be relevant to educators in rural schools?
  • Teacher Recruitment and Retention
    • What is known about effective strategies for recruitment and retention of teachers in rural schools?
    • Which indicators identified in the research literature predict successful recruitment and retention of teachers in rural schools in Oklahoma?
    • Do some district and teacher characteristics affect the relationship between indicators and outcomes (that is, have a moderating effect on indicators of successful recruitment)?
  • Professional Development
    • What challenges to implementing professional development in rural schools are identified by the research literature?
    • What steps, initiatives, or actions does the research literature on professional development suggest are potentially promising in rural school settings?
    • Does the implementation of promising professional development practices vary across schools by geographic locale?
    • How do administrators' perceptions of the barriers to implementing professional development practices vary across schools by geographic locale?

Geographical Areas Served:


Member Organizations:

  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Academic Transitions
  • American Indian Institute, University of Oklahoma
  • Aurora Learning Community Association (ALCA)
  • Byng Schools
  • Chokka' Kilimpi' Division of Education, Department of Community Services for the Chickasaw Nation
  • Corporation Commission–Public Utilities Division
  • Elite Research
  • Frederick Public Schools
  • Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
  • K–8 Scholars Appreciating Mathematics, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • K20 Center, University of Oklahoma
  • Madill Early Childhood Center
  • McAlester Public Schools
  • McDaniel & Assoc. LLC
  • Office of Educational Quality and Accountability
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Oklahoma State Department of Education
  • Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center
  • South Central Comprehensive Center
  • Yale Public Schools

Contact Information:

Haidee Williams, PhD, Alliance Liaison
(800) 476-6861, ext. 6566

External Website