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Technical Working Group Meeting Summaries
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NCER convenes technical working groups periodically. A technical working group is an ad hoc group of experts on a particular topic who work together on specific goals. These meetings are often meant to encourage stakeholders to discuss the state of research on a topic and/or to identify gaps in research.

Building Evidence: What Comes After an Efficacy Study?
October 14, 2016

In October, 2016, the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) convened a group of experts to gain insights and advice on how best to support the advancement of evidence beyond an efficacy study. The discussion followed five topics of inquiry: (1) What should effectiveness studies accomplish? What are the challenges of initiating and completing an effectiveness study? (2) What steps are needed to encourage more replication research? (3) How can we advance our understanding of causal mechanisms and the variability of impacts? (4) How can IES training programs support the advancement of evidence beyond efficacy? (5) What is the most important thing IES can do to support the advancement of evidence once we have established efficacy? Technical working group members made substantive suggestions about how to deepen and broaden the high-quality research supported by IES. This report summarizes the IES staff presentations and participant discussions.

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Future Directions for Writing Research at the Secondary Level
September 12, 2016

In September, 2016, the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) convened a group of experts to discuss and provide input on research needs in the area of middle and high school writing for students, including English learners (ELs) and those with or at risk for disabilities. The discussion focused on four topic areas: (1) argumentative writing, (2) support for struggling writers, (3) engaging adolescents in writing, and (4) assessment and feedback. Each session consisted of a brief review of the topic and introductory questions, presenter remarks, and general discussion. The meeting concluded with each expert identifying the most critical research need from his or her viewpoint. This report summarizes the key points and themes that emerged from the presenters' remarks and discussion.

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Researching the Influence of School Leaders on Student Outcomes IES Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
August 20, 2015

In August 2015, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) convened a technical working group (TWG) for advice on how to strengthen NCER's portfolio of research on the influence of school leaders on student outcomes. The TWG included nine education researchers and practitioners with experience designing and conducting research on school leadership and Department of Education staff. The TWG discussion focused on four areas: (1) theories about the relationship between school leadership and student achievement, (2) leadership standards, (3) professional development, (4) impact of school leaders on student achievement. This meeting summary covers the major points of discussion and the recommendations that were offered.

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IES Mixed Methods in Education Research Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
May 29, 2015

In May 2015, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) convened a technical working group (TWG) of experts on the use of mixed methods in educational research to provide recommendations to IES and the field on promoting high-quality mixed methods research. For the purpose of this meeting, mixed methods research was defined as the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods. The TWG comprised 10 education researchers with experience designing and conducting research using mixed methods and IES staff. This meeting summary covers the major points of discussion and the suggestions that were offered.

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IES Rural Education Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
December 8, 2014

In December 2014, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education convened a technical working group (TWG) of experts in the field of rural education to provide input on research needs in this field and how research could be more relevant and useful to rural communities. Ten rural education experts were invited to attend, including individuals working in the K–12 system, national associations, universities, and research organizations. The TWG discussion focused on four broad areas: (1) current issues in rural education research, (2) overview of prior large-scale IES investments in rural education research, (3) challenges and priorities, and (4) synthesis and next steps. This meeting summary covers all of the discussion points of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Practitioner Perspectives on Emerging Research Needs and Improving Relevance in Education Research
March 3, 2014 – Capitol Place, Washington, D.C.

In March 2014, The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, convened a technical working group (TWG) of practitioners to provide input on research needs in education and how research could be more relevant and useful to the field. Fifteen expert practitioners in the field of education were invited to attend, including individuals working in state education and legislative offices, districts, and schools as well as non-profit organizations and postsecondary institutions. The TWG discussion focused on five broad sessions: (1) making research available through effective dissemination; (2) research needs for elementary, middle, and high school; (3) research needs for early intervention; (4) research needs for post-secondary/career readiness; and (5) researcher-practitioner collaborations. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Researcher Perspectives on Strengthening IES's Research Grant and Training Programs
October 16, 2014 – Capitol Place, Washington, D.C.

In October 2014, The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, convened a technical working group (TWG). The purpose of this TWG meeting was to discuss critical education problems and issues on which high-quality research is needed, the development or adaptation of new methodological approaches for addressing these issues, the role of IES research training programs in preparing of the next generation of researchers, and ways to prioritize the use of limited funds to support credible research that impacts policy and practice. The TWG consisted of 17 experts in the field of education research who work in universities and research organizations. The TWG discussion focused on five broad sessions: (1) characteristics of influential research; (2) critical, unaddressed issues in education research; (3) advancing research methods; (4) improving IES's training programs; and (5) targeting resources. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Researching College- and Career-Ready Standards to Improve Student Outcomes
August 19–20, 2013— Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, Washington, D.C.

In August, IES worked with the National Science Foundation and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to convene a technical working group to discuss research objectives related to college- and career-ready standards in English language arts and mathematics. Forty people were invited to attend (including researchers, practitioners, and federal and foundation staff) the one-and-a-half-day meeting. Participants were asked to focus specifically on issues at the classroom level and to think about short-, medium-, and long-term research objectives. Sessions focused on math and English language arts content, implications for students with disabilities and English language learners, measuring classroom practice, and district and school-level support for implementation. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and outlines both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Advancing Adult Education Research
April 26, 2012— Capitol Place, Washington, D.C.

Research on adult education presents many challenges, including high student and teacher attrition, small effect sizes, missing data due to open/rolling admissions, and extreme heterogeneity within the population. To address these challenges and discuss possible solutions, NCER convened a group six adult education researchers, two state directors, and five research methodologists in the spring of 2012. The panelists discussed the need for new adult education research, the difficulties that arise in conducting and interpreting it, and methodological approaches to designing and analyzing studies in these settings. The meeting summary captures this discussion and includes a list of remaining topics and questions posed by the panelists.

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