Virtual School Meanderings

June 29, 2016

Four New Reports from the REL Program

Note the first of these four reports…

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash

Four New Reports from the REL Program

The Institute of Education Science is releasing four new reports today from the Regional Educational Laboratory program. The reports explore a variety of topics, including online credit recovery; computer-adaptive assessments of literacy for English learner students; implementation of a schoolwide college-readiness program; and a summary of state policies aimed at turning around chronically underperforming schools.

Online credit recovery: Enrollment and passing patterns in Montana Digital Academy courses
This report from REL Northwest examines the potential of online credit recovery courses to help struggling students get back on track to graduation. The study analyzes 2013-14 course enrollment and completion patterns for students enrolled in the Montana Digital Academy (MTDA), the only state-funded online credit recovery program in Montana.

Using computer-adaptive assessments of literacy to monitor the progress of English learner students
Administering a computer-adaptive assessment is one way to measure the literacy skills of English learner students whose performance often falls outside grade-level norms. In a computer-adaptive assessment the selection, order, and number of items administered depend on a student’s ability at the time of assessment. A new study by REL Southeastexamined how teachers and school staff at three urban elementary schools administered and used data from computer-adaptive assessments of literacy to monitor growth in literacy skills of English learner students in grades 3–5.

Ramping up for college readiness in Minnesota high schools: Implementation of a schoolwide program
This REL Midwest report focuses on The University of Minnesota College Readiness Consortium’s Ramp-Up to Readiness, also known as Ramp-Up. The schoolwide college readiness program aims to provide students in grades 6–12 with the motivation, skills, and information necessary to enroll and succeed in college. In partnership with the Midwest College and Career Success Research Alliance, REL Midwest studied how Ramp-Up differs from other college readiness approaches, how well schools are able to implement the program, and what school staff thinks about it. The study involved 20 Minnesota public schools serving grades 10–12 and compared 10 schools that implemented Ramp-Up during the 2013/14 school year to 10 schools that had not yet implemented the program.

State policies for intervening in chronically low-performing schools: A 50-state scan
This report from REL Central summarizes the policies of all 50 states with regard to improving outcomes at chronically low-performing schools. The report organizes the policies into six categories: school improvement plans, school staffing, school closing, school finances, day-to-day school operations, and changes to the entity that governs or operates a school.

The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) build the capacity of educators to use data and research to improve student outcomes. Each REL responds to needs identified in its region and makes learning opportunities and other resources available to educators throughout the United States. The REL program is a part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. To receive regular updates on REL work, including events and reports, follow IES on Facebook and Twitter. To provide feedback on this or other REL work, email

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1 Comment »

  1. […] referenced this yesterday in the Four New Reports from the REL Program entry, but I wanted to highlight it here […]

    Pingback by Report – Online Credit Recovery: Enrollment And Passing Patterns in Montana Digital Academy Courses | Virtual School Meanderings — June 30, 2016 @ 8:03 am | Reply

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