Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwes
REL Southwest Spotlight // Vol. 1, No. 1 // Summer 2013
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Introducing the REL Southwest at SEDL
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the REL Southwest Spotlight. This e-bulletin highlights the work of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest as well as services, resources, and events relevant to our five-state region of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

SEDL Awarded the REL Southwest
SEDL is pleased to announce that we resumed operation of the REL Southwest in January 2013. Through this contract, we and our partners are conducting groundbreaking work using data and research evidence to tackle critical education issues in our region.

Innovative REL Approach
We are conducting much of our work through six innovative research alliances that tap into the region’s range of expertise and resources. These alliances bring together educators, state administrators, policymakers, researchers, and others to work collaboratively to investigate high-priority education concerns and develop and evaluate potential solutions. Learn more

Join Us
Interested in joining our work? Contact us to learn more.

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Picture of a boy in a classroom
REL SW Alliance
  • Arkansas PreK Research Alliance
  • Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance
  • New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance
  • New Mexico PreK Research Alliance
  • Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance
  • Texas Hispanic STEM
    Research Alliance

Ask REL Southwest

If you reside in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas, you may send us your research-based questions about education policies, programs, and practices by completing our Ask REL Southwest form.

Ask Us


Our Work

We have conducted initial meetings with each of our six research alliances. Members have learned about developing a research agenda, examined contextual data for their alliance focus, and brainstormed critical research topics. The alliances continue to meet monthly to identify and fine-tune the research topics that will drive our future work.

Arkansas Prekindergarten Research Alliance
Research findings consistently show the positive effects of high-quality early childhood education on children's later academic success. The Arkansas Prekindergarten Research Alliance seeks to examine high-quality preK programs in the state and their impact on children's school readiness and grade 3 success. Learn more
Contact: Janice Esau, MA Ed, Alliance Liaison
   
Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance
The number of charter schools in Louisiana is rising rapidly, intensifying the need for educators and policymakers to ensure the quality of these schools. The Louisiana Charter Schools Research Alliance seeks to identify indicators of program quality and effectiveness among charter schools to inform school improvement efforts. Learn more
Contact: Tammie Causey-Konaté, PhD, Alliance Liaison
   
New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance
New Mexico's Hispanic and Native American students experience sizable achievement gaps when compared to other student subgroups on the state's standardized assessment. The New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance seeks to identify obstacles to academic success among Hispanic and Native American students to help reduce achievement gaps. Learn more
Contact: Sylvia Pirtle, PhD, Alliance Liaison
   
New Mexico Prekindergarten Research Alliance
New Mexico has been developing a comprehensive preK-12 data system to inform policy and practice. To support this effort, the New Mexico PreK Research Alliance seeks to provide guidance for maintaining and refining this data system and to examine the impact of the state's preK initiatives on student outcomes. Learn more
Contact: Janice Esau, MA Ed, Alliance Liaison
   
Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance
Almost 77 percent of Oklahoma school districts are classified as rural. These schools face several challenges, such as poverty, limited resources, and difficulty recruiting and training teachers. The Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance is examining factors that affect rural school performance, with a focus on college and career readiness. Learn more
Contact: Haidee Williams, PhD, Alliance Liaison
   
Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance
Minorities remain underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In Texas, where Hispanics make up more than a third of the population, the Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance is examining factors related to improving Hispanic student participation and achievement in STEM. The initial focus is on South Texas. Learn more
Contact: Haidee Williams, PhD, Alliance Liaison

Upcoming Events

August 2013: New Mexico Prekindergarten Research Alliance Kickoff Meeting
Location TBD
This meeting is open to alliance members and those interested in joining. The meeting agenda includes an overview of the types of REL research and how to develop a research agenda followed by a brainstorming session to identify potential research topics on which the alliance will focus.
Contact: Janice Esau, MA Ed, Alliance Liaison

Research Alliance Monthly Meetings
Our research alliances meet monthly via webinar. Using interactive webinar features, such as chat pods and polls, alliance members discuss research topics, the recruitment of new members, and other work.


Featured Resource

Research-Practice Partnerships: A Strategy for Leveraging Research for Educational Improvement in School Districts 
This white paper, prepared for the William T. Grant Foundation, provides an overview of research-practice partnerships, including their benefits and challenges, and describes how these partnerships enable researchers and educators to investigate critical problems in ways that ensure the findings are relevant and practical. The paper describes three types of research-practice partnerships, including research alliances. Learn more


About REL Southwest
REL Southwest is one of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. These labs provide applied research and evaluation, analytic technical support, and services and products to address pressing regional education needs, inform practice and policy, and improve student outcomes.

About SEDL
SEDL (formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. Visit SEDL’s website for more information.

Our Partners
  • American Institutes for Research (AIR)
  • Berkeley Policy Associates (BPA)
  • Chesapeake Research Associates LLC
  • Decision Information Resources Inc.
  • Empirical Education Inc.
  • Gibson Consulting Group
  • RAND Education
 
   
 

About REL SW Contact REL SW
 
     
 

The REL Southwest Spotlight e-bulletin was developed under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0012 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. The content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of 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.

Questions or comments should be directed to:
REL Southwest at SEDL
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Tel: 800-476-6861
Email: askrelsw@sedl.org
Website: relsouthwest.sedl.org

 
 
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