Virtual School Meanderings

August 27, 2016

Research Update: MPS Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning Process

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
REL Midwest Research Update
Alliance Goal:
To identify and develop tools to improve the feedback that school- and district-level personnel receive about teacher practices
and student outcomes.
Deb GurkeMessage From the Alliance Lead
Welcome to the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) MidwestUrban District Community of Practice (CoP) newsletter. I have been part of the CoP since October 2015. It has been a privilege to engage in conversations with research directors from several large urban districts.Over the past several months, we have focused on understanding continuous improvement. Although at its most basic level continuous improvement is about acknowledging what works and identifying and addressing what could be better, there are important concepts to understand if you want to get the most out of your continuous improvement efforts. To strengthen their knowledge, the Urban District CoP members read a white paper on continuous improvement in education and discussed their role in the process as well as the need for others in the district to be committed to the work, too. We also talked about practical measurement and how it differs from measurement for accountability and theory building.

In addition, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), as part of the CoP, partnered with REL Midwest to develop a continuous improvement process with its vendors. MPS has shared learnings from the district’s early efforts with this work with the CoP. You can learn more about the project in this month’s newsletter.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the members for their time and attention to the CoP. We know their time is precious, and it has not always been easy to break away from the day-to-day pressing needs of large urban school districts. We look forward to continued engagement with members of this group.—Deb Gurke, Ph.D.


Webinar Series Strategic Communications and Early Warning SystemsWebinar Series: Strategic Communications and Early Warning Systems
What’s the best way to communicate with parents about early warning systems and dropout prevention? Find out in a two-part REL Midwest webinar series for states and districts, part of the REL Learning Series on Early Warning Systems.Read more  


District Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning ProcessSchool District Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning Process
MPS offers hundreds of programs from external partners but lacked a system to evaluate the success of these partnerships—until now.Read more  


CoP Member Marc SandersMeet the CoP Member: Marc Sanders
Meet Marc Sanders, member of the REL Midwest Urban District CoP. Sanders is the manager of research and evaluation for MPS. Learn how his team supports schools using research and evaluation results.Read more  


Researcher Steve PlankMeet the Researcher: Steve Plank
What has managing researcher Steve Plank learned from his work with REL Midwest? “Listen more than talk.” Read our profile to learn why.Read more  


Resources and EventsUrban Education Resources and Events
What’s happening in the world of urban education? Check out our roundup of recent events and resources!Read more  


Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.       
AIR, American Institutes for Research, cyber school, education, high school, Learning Point Associates, NCREL, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, at American Institutes for Research
Urban District Community of Practice
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.


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This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

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