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Celebrating 2019 and looking ahead to 2020

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By Joni Wackwitz | March 4, 2020

We hope your 2020 is off to a great start! As we head into a new year, the team at the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest wanted to pause to celebrate our 2019 accomplishments and highlight some of the exciting new work underway.

2019 highlights and accomplishments

Last year, REL Southwest continued to partner with practitioners, policymakers, and others to tackle pressing education issues in the five states we serve. We carried out this work through collaborative research partnerships. Each partnership addressed members’ identified priorities through an integrated set of support, including research studies, training and coaching, resource development, and dissemination. The goal was to drive changes in policy and practice that will lead to improved student outcomes.

In 2019, REL Southwest had more than 14 training and coaching projects and 8 applied research studies underway. Highlights of this work include the following:

  • REL Southwest provided a research review and training on evidence-based instructional practices for supporting American Indian English learner students in New Mexico, including practices to support American Indian language development, as part of an ongoing project with the Southwest English Learners Research Partnership.
  • Through a series of coaching sessions, REL Southwest built the capacity of state department staff, districts, and schools in Oklahoma to select evidence-based practices that align with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements and support school improvement efforts.
  • REL Southwest and the Southwest English Learners Research Partnership hosted an in‑person event for New Mexico administrators on how leaders can support the implementation of English language development (ELD) as a comprehensive system in schools and districts.

During 2019, REL Southwest also developed products and hosted events to promote the work of our partnerships and share research and resources. In all, we produced 21 Ask A REL reference desk responses, 14 blog posts, 7 infographics and videos, and 6 events. The most popular blog posts and events indicate some of the key topics of interest to our region.

Top 3 blog posts

Top 3 events

What’s new in 2020

In 2020, we continue to work hand-in-hand with our education partners to carry out research, training, coaching, and dissemination. This work includes new collaborations as well as several new projects. The following are highlights:

  • A series of coaching sessions will build the capacity of three school districts in Oklahoma and New Mexico to design and pilot research-informed teacher and principal evaluation systems for schools serving high percentages of American Indian students
  • A series of coaching sessions will help the Louisiana Department of Education evaluate the results of a 2019 pilot survey of resident teachers, mentor teachers, and principals participating in the state’s Believe and Prepare teacher residency program

In addition, the results of two REL Southwest studies are slated to be published in the coming months:

Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you receive the latest updates from REL Southwest. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together in 2020!

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Author Information

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Joni Wackwitz

Senior Communications Specialist | REL Southwest