Virtual School Meanderings

March 16, 2017

New Research, Policy, And Practice Priorities For REL Northwest; Updated “Getting It Right” Guide

More from Monday’s inbox (as I try to clear out the beginning of the week).

New priority areas and latest research and tools
REL Northwest
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded a new  five-year contract to Education Northwest to serve as the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest. We are excited to continue supporting educators and students in preschool, K–12, and higher education across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington!

Connecting research, policy, and practice

Building research-practice partnerships is still the heart of the REL program. For the next five years, REL Northwest’s staff will remain focused on partnering with stakeholders to develop and use research to improve education practice, policy, and outcomes. Our high-priority areas are:

  • An equitable start in learning
  • Appropriate supports for English learner students
  • High school graduation and postsecondary education success
  • Supply and development of effective educators
  • Accountability and system improvement

In addition, REL Northwest has been designated to lead the national REL network in the area of postsecondary readiness and success.

Meet the REL Northwest team

Director Christopher Mazzeo and Deputy Director Fiona Helsel are leading REL Northwest.

Points of contact for each state are:

Alaska: Ashley Pierson and David Stevens
Idaho: Jennifer Esswein and Marybeth Flachbart
Montana: Sarah Frazelle and Aurora Moore
Oregon: Michelle Hodara and Hella Bel Hadj Amor
Washington: Jason Greenberg Motamedi and Melinda Leong

New research and tools from REL Northwest

Study highlights need to focus on academic preparation of Spanish-speaking students to address gaps in advanced course taking

A recent REL Northwest study found that Spanish-speaking students—the largest group of language-minority students in Washington state—take fewer advanced courses and earn lower grades in them than other language-minority students and English-only speakers. Differences in advanced course enrollment and performance disappear when students have the same GPA and test scores in the prior school year, however. The findings suggest schools may benefit from monitoring the academic progress of students who speak different primary or home languages to identify groups that struggle more than others. Understanding the challenges particular students (such as Spanish-speaking students) face could help inform decisions about where to focus efforts to improve student achievement.

More languages added to “Getting It Right” reference guides

IES has released the second edition of “Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students with Non-English Names.” In addition to facilitating accurate data entry, these guides can help ensure school and district staff members address and greet parents and other family members in a culturally responsive, respectful fashion. The original guides, published in 2016, were among the most downloaded resources from the IES website. The new edition contains guides for students with home languages of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Evidence is just a click away with Ask A REL

Our reference librarian conducts literature searches for the best available research and provides resources responsive to regional stakeholders’ needs—at no cost! Submit your education question via the IES website today.

Copyright © 2017 Education Northwest, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you are a member or affiliate of a REL Northwest Research Alliance.

Education Northwest

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