Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest at SEDL
REL Southwest Spotlight // Vol. 2, No. 2 // Summer 2014
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Note from the Director
Time to head back to school. For educators looking for evidence-based strategies, this issue features Back to School resources from the What Works Clearinghouse. In addition, we are excited to announce two new research alliances addressing educator effectiveness and English learners. These alliances both address high-priority needs in our region. This summer, our current research alliances finalized their research agendas. Follow the link below to access the agendas on our website. And if you missed one of our recent bridge events, new archives are available on our website as well.

photo of line of young children waiting to board school bus with a female teacher standing at the bus door to help them

Thank you for your interest in our work to improve education and student outcomes in the Southwest. We encourage you to follow us on Twitter to stay abreast of our new events and resources.

Vicki Dimock, PhD, REL Southwest Director

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

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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 //

Through our research alliances, we collaborate with educators, policymakers, researchers, and others to help states and schools use data and research evidence to address high-priority education needs.

Introducing Our New Research Alliances

Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance
Educator effectiveness has emerged as a top priority in our region. Our new Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance seeks to use data and research to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of educator effectiveness initiatives and policy. To join or learn more: Contact Tammie Causey-Konate at or 800-644-8671.  View flier

English Learners Research Alliance
The states we serve support almost half of the English learners (ELs) in the southwestern United States. Our new English Learners Research Alliance seeks to use data and research to improve academic growth and college and career readiness among ELs. To join or learn more: Contact Linda Cavazos at or 800-476-6861.  View flier

New Products and Resources

Alliance Research Agendas
Our alliances have developed research agendas to guide their technical support and research projects. To develop an agenda, each alliance identified research topics that represent high-priority needs within its focus area and state. Alliance members then narrowed the topics to identify subtopics, research questions, and studies.  View research agendas

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Research Tools and Products
We have expanded the Resources section of our website to add research tools and products, including workshops and technical assistance products. Our first product is Framing Your Research Agenda Using a Research Continuum. We will be adding workshops on logic models and survey development soon, so check back.  View Research Tools and Products

photo of REL Southwest's five-state region of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

Research Alliance Overviews


Dr. Joseph Dimino, researcher at Instructional Research Group, guides a hands-on activity at the REL Southwest EL Conference.

English Learners Conference in San Antonio, TX
On July 22, we hosted a conference on the new What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School. The event drew 88 educators from across Texas and the nation. Participants engaged with nationally recognized researchers and practitioners to explore strategies for improving English language academic instruction.  Read more and access the archive

Presenter Diana Nunnaley, director of Using Data Initiative at TERC, actively teaching several workshop participants

OK Rural Schools Workshop on Educator Data Use
On August 7, our Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance, along with staff from Byng Public Schools, attended the first of two workshops on the effective use of data to inform classroom instruction. Participants performed a self-assessment, reviewed the research on high-capacity data use, and then applied the recommendations to analyze their school data.  Read more

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Miss a Bridge Event Webinar? New Archives Available Online
Access our archived bridge events online to view videos, transcripts, presentations, handouts, and links to related resources.

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Follow Us on Twitter
Follow @relsouthwest on Twitter to keep abreast of our latest events, news, and resources. And please tweet us your comments about how we can best support your education data and research needs. We look forward to connecting with you!

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Back to School with the What Works ClearinghouseTM

Start the school year off right with help from the What Works Clearinghouse Back to School resource kit. This collection of quick tips, tools, videos, and practice guides will help you quickly find effective solutions for managing classroom behavior, teaching math and reading, and choosing a curriculum.

image of chalkboard with text: Updated for 2014! Back to School with the What Works Clearinghouse: Video on selecting a math curriculum, What Works in Math resource page, Information on Regional Educational Laboratories


Sept. 9–10: 2014 Indian Education Summit
The Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance will provide a panel presentation at the 2014 Indian Education Summit in Norman, OK. The American Indian Institute is hosting the summit.

Sept. 11: Educators and Data Use Workshop II
The Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance and members of Byng Public Schools will attend the second workshop in a series on educators and data use. The workshop will be held at the Reynolds Wellness Center in Seminole, OK.

Sept. 11: Using Arkansas Data to Support Data-Driven Practices Workshop
The Arkansas Prekindergarten Research Alliance will attend a workshop to review the Arkansas PreK data inventory, analyze how the data intersect with the alliance's research agenda, and assess the feasibility of specific research studies utilizing the data. The workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center in Little Rock, AR.

Late Sept./Early Oct.: Understanding Logic Models Workshop I: Identifying Essential Logic Model Components, Definitions, and Formats
The Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance will attend the first workshop in a two-part series on understanding, building, and using logic models. The workshop will be held in Austin, TX.

Oct. 17: National Rural Education Association Convention and Research Symposium
REL Southwest staff will serve on a panel for two sessions at the NREA Convention and Research Symposium. The session topic will be advancing a rural research agenda through REL alliances.

View all upcoming events
View archived event resources
View related regional and national events

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)
  • 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
Twitter: @relsouthwest

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