Celebration of REL Southwest's Accomplishments 2012–2017
The final Governing Board meeting of the 2012–17 Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest contract was held in Austin, Texas, on September 6–7, 2017. The meeting included a reception celebrating and showcasing our work of the past five years. REL Southwest staff, Governing Board members, and American Institutes for Research (AIR) colleagues in the Austin office gathered to share lessons learned and highlights of the past five years.
Six Governing Board members shared their thoughts on the importance of the REL work in their states and the impacts they've seen.
On display at the reception were posters highlighting the following research studies and technical assistance projects, as well as posters and other collateral describing our eight research alliances:
- Arkansas Prekindergarten Alignment of the Arkansas Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS) to Other Measures of PreK Teacher Performance
- Graduation Exam Participation and Performance, Graduation Rates, and Advanced Coursetaking Following Changes in New Mexico Graduation Requirements, 2011–15
- Advanced Course Completion Rates Among New Mexico High School Students Following Changes in Graduation Requirements
- Identifying Indicators of Successful Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Oklahoma Rural Schools
- Time to Proficiency for English Learner Students in Texas
- Early Warning and Risk Prevention for English Learner Students: Summary of Technical Assistance Provided to Three Texas Districts
- Facilitating Professional Learning Communities that Support Struggling Readers Who Are English Learners in the Southwest
- Features of New Orleans Charter Schools Associated with Student Achievement Growth
The following Governing Board members attended:
- Chairperson Norma Neely, Ph.D., Director, American Indian Institute, University of Oklahoma Outreach
- Vice Chairperson Jacqueline Govan, Collaboration Director, Arkansas Head Start Association
- Linda Castillo, Ph.D., Professor, Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University
- Anya Dozier-Enos, Ph.D., Curriculum/Professional Development Director, Santa Fe Indian School, NM
- Kenn Heydrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Texas STEM Coalition
- Scott Hughes, Ph.D., Associate Research Professor, Center for Education Policy Research, University of New Mexico
- Tresha D. Spoon, Director of Education, Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
- Dr. Gary Ritter, 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy, University of Arkaksas (via phone)
Sarah Caverly, Ph.D., REL Southwest analytic technical support lead, introduces the posters at the reception.
Ada Muoneke, Ph.D., REL Southwest research alliances lead, points out highlights in the research alliance infographic.
Dean Gerdeman, Ph.D., a principal investigator with REL Southwest, discusses the study Time to Proficiency for English Learner Students in Texas with Governing Board Chairperson Norma Neely, Ph.D.
Governing Board members join in a celebration group photo with REL Southwest staff and subcontractors.
Governing Board member Kenn Heydrick, Ph.D., executive director of the Texas STEM Coalition, and Haidee Williams, Ph.D., Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance liaison, discuss the work of the research alliance.
Montrischa Williams, Ph.D., REL Southwest researcher, discusses the project Early Warning and Risk Prevention for English Learner Students: Summary of Technical Assistance Provided to Three Texas Districts with Brenda Arellano, Ph.D., REL Southwest senior researcher, and Michael Vaden-Kiernan, Ph.D., REL Southwest director.
Jill Walston, Ph.D., REL Southwest principal investigator, discusses the study New Mexico Students’ Graduation Exam Performance and Course-Taking During Changing Graduation Requirements: 2011–2015 with Governing Board members Anya Dozier-Enos, Ph.D., curriculum/professional development director of the Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico, and Tresha D. Spoon, director of education for the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
Governing Board member Anya Dozier-Enos, Ph.D., curriculum/professional development director of the Santa Fe Indian School, shares, "In terms of the noncognitive factors study in New Mexico, I think of it as being an example of the power of REL Southwest and the work with New Mexico. . . . In working collaboratively with the research alliance, the REL researchers were able to really help us to see what we meant by potential strengths, like grit and what does grit really look like."