Skip Navigation

Home Blogs Improving Outcomes for all Students in Oregon

Improving Outcomes for all Students in Oregon

Northwest | May 10, 2024

For the next installment of our partnership series, we go back to Oregon. Here, we discuss REL Northwest's partnership work with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to improve outcomes for students in historically underserved groups.

ODE recognized that pervasive opportunity gaps exist between different student demographic groups. To address this issue, ODE allocated funding for developing and implementing Student Success Plans that  improve opportunities for specific groups of ODE students, e.g., African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Latino/a/x and Indigenous, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ2SIA+ students. ODE partnered with members from each community to develop unique Student Success Plans that reflect that student community's culture, traditions, and needs. Each Student Success Plan centers on shared goals and objectives; they include data-driven priorities and measurable outcomes. The Student Success Plans aim to improve a system that is failing kids.

Prior to engaging REL Northwest, Student Success Plans were implemented and evaluated independently. ODE wants to improve how grantees implement aspects of Student Success Plans by identifying success stories, noting barriers to implementation, and providing additional supports as needed. To make these improvements, ODE needs to develop a data collection and evaluation system, so they reached out to REL Northwest for support in developing these systems.

Why REL Northwest
For decades, REL Northwest has worked with school districts, state departments of education, and other education stakeholders to gather and use data, generate and apply evidence, and develop and implement tools—all with the goal of improving student outcomes.

REL Northwest understands how to work with leaders who are pulled in multiple directions. The REL Northwest team works to build relationships and carefully plan meetings to keep the work moving. With expertise in research, instrument development, and technical assistance, REL Northwest staff has the knowledge and skills needed to help ODE measure and monitor the implementation of Student Succes Plans' goals.

The work
ODE reached out to REL Northwest to help develop a data collection plan and evaluation system to discover if and how the investment in Student Success Plans makes a difference for students. First, REL Northwest worked with ODE and community partners, including representatives from community-based organizations, to create a Student Success Plan program logic model that applies to current and future plans. The partnership used the logic model to identify indicators to measure progress and developed working definitions for the indicators. Reflecting on the process with REL Northwest, an ODE staff member said, "The constructivist approach that allowed members of multiple teams to engage in deep thinking and discussion to bring cohesion across large bodies of legislation implementation. The logic model formatting was helpful as well."

SSP Logic Model

Now, the partnership is identifying existing, valid, and reliable research-backed survey items to better measure the impact of the plans. The suite of survey items will improve ODE's ability to measure how grant programs implemented through Student Success Plan grant funds are contributing to progress toward the goal of improving outcomes for students.

SSP Problem Statement

Why it matters
Student Success Plans are about creating more equitable conditions for historically underserved students. REL Northwest is working with ODE to develop a system that monitors the implementation of the Student Success Plans. With a monitoring system in place, ODE will be able to gain insight into what is working, how it is working, and to what extent it is making a difference. This process will help ODE provide support to their staff and Student Success Plan grantees to ensure high-quality implementation. Ultimately, ODE will be able to use the Student Success Plans to help improve a system that has failed to support successful outcomes for all of Oregon's students.


Please subscribe to our newsletter, reach out via email, follow us on X, and visit our Website to learn more about REL Northwest.


Emily Asqueri

Emily Asqueri

Rebecca Bates

Rebecca Bates

Shannon Stackhouse

Shannon Stackhouse

Connect with REL Northwest