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AERA annual meeting showcases REL Southwest research

AERA annual meeting showcases REL Southwest research

By Marguerite Huber | June 28, 2018

Researchers from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest traveled to New York City in April to present the results of six research studies at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2018 Annual Meeting. See below for highlights of the presentations and links to the full research reports.

REL Southwest's report on predictors of postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) success for Hispanic Texas students was featured in a session on postsecondary outcomes for different subgroups. Attendance at the session reached full capacity, demonstrating participants' interest in the topic and their desire to know more. One attendee, for example, inquired about differences in postsecondary STEM outcomes by gender. The researchers agreed that adding gender measures would be an interesting next step in the work.

During a poster session titled Teacher Evaluation Under the Microscope, REL Southwest presented a poster highlighting our study of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System rubric. This study examined how well the rubric differentiated teacher performance and the role of school characteristics in teacher ratings. After the presentation, the researcher conversed with attendees and shared where they could find more information and read the full report.

A presentation of REL Southwest's study on indicators of successful teacher recruitment and retention in Oklahoma rural schools drew well over 50 attendees in a symposium on teacher effectiveness, retention, and coaching. The audience sparked a thoughtful discussion around the need for richer data on the role of personal teacher factors and ways to collect these data, which are not available in Oklohoma state databases.

At a session on charter school growth and management issues, REL Southwest researchers presented their study on special education enrollment at Louisiana public charter schools to approximately 20 other researchers. The study examined the special education enrollment gap between charter and traditional public schools in four Louisiana regions. Attendees expressed curiosity about how charter school funding relates to the classification and declassification rates of students in special education.

A roundtable session on high school program and policy effects on student academic and social-emotional outcomes featured a discussion of REL Southwest's report on the impact of providing information to parents in Texas about the role of Algebra II in college admission. The study related to the passage of Texas House Bill 5, which made Algebra II optional to graduate high school, and examined whether providing Texas parents with an informational brochure about the role of Algebra II in college admission had an effect on students' Algebra II completion rates in grade 11. Following the presentation, attendees discussed the findings, asked questions, and expressed interest in the study materials and methods.

Finally, our report on the role of noncognitive skills and school environments in students' transitions to high school was featured in a roundtable discussion of cultural stereotypes and outcome disparities in high schools. Session participants expressed considerable interest in the study's composition of students and schools and how its findings varied across racial/ethnic groups. Attendees appreciated that the study provided actionable steps that enabled its findings to be readily applied.

Thanh Nguyen

Thanh Nguyen presented a poster based on the REL Southwest report titled The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System Rubric: Properties and Association With School Characteristics as part of the AERA annual meeting.

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Author Information

Marguerite Huber

Marguerite Huber

Communications Associate | REL Southwest

mhuber@air.org