Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest at SEDL
REL Southwest Spotlight Vol. 3, No. 2: Summer 2015 // Vol. 3, No. 2 // Summer 2015
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Note from the Director

As a new school year begins, we are pleased to share the work we have been doing over the summer. In Texas, we have begun two studies related to changing graduation requirements, college readiness, and algebra II. The results may have implications for policy and practice regarding students' college readiness.

Our research alliances have also conducted several site visits to learn from the field. We highlight three visits focused on Native American students in our region as well as a national ACT report on Native American students' college and career readiness.

In addition, we spotlight new products and events. Our new facilitator's guide assists teacher teams in using strategies for teaching academic content to English learners. And two new webinars focus on preparing Hispanic students for STEM careers and on state plans for equitable access to excellent educators.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.

Vicki Dimock, Ph.D., REL Southwest Director

three smiling elementary students standing in school hallway ready for the new school year

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

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

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 // OUR WORK //

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

Facilitating Teacher Teams to Support English Learners
Our free Professional Learning Communities Facilitator's Guide assists teacher teams in applying the evidence-based strategies in the Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School practice guide, produced by the What Works Clearinghouse. A supplemental series of 23 videos shows teachers applying each strategy in grades 2, 4, and 6–8 classrooms. We'll be hitting the road and hosting a series of free workshops on using the new guide soon. Stay tuned.  Learn more

New Studies: Texas House Bill 5 and Algebra II
Texas House Bill 5, passed in 2013, changed public high school graduation requirements in Texas. REL Southwest is partnering with the Texas Education Agency on two studies examining the law's effects on high school students' enrollment in and completion of algebra II, which the law made optional for graduation. Read more about our algebra II studies, which focus on enrollment/completion trends and a parent information campaign.

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

Our Research Alliances


Oklahoma Alliance's Native American Indian Working Group Conducts Tribal Visits
In April and May 2015, the Native American Indian Working Group, part of REL Southwest's Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance, conducted two tribal visits. The purpose was to clarify and prioritize the needs of the state's rural Native American Indian students and to learn about programs and strategies the tribes are using to address those needs.  Read more

Santa Fe Indian School: A High-Performing Native American School in New Mexico
REL Southwest's New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance recently toured the Santa Fe Indian School to learn about its efforts to close the achievement gap, decrease dropout rates, and preserve Native cultures and languages for Native American students. SFIS has created a learning environment and culture that buoys students and motivates them to beat the odds while preserving their proud heritage.  Read more

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We encourage you to follow @relsouthwest on Twitter to keep abreast of our latest news, events, and resources. We look forward to connecting with you!

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The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014: American Indian Students

This report provides information on the college and career readiness of American Indian students who took the 2014 ACT standardized test. The report is designed to help inform the following questions:

  • Are American Indian students prepared for college and career?
  • Are enough American Indian students taking core courses?
  • Are the core courses being taken rigorous enough?
  • Are younger American Indian students on track for college/career?
  • Are American Indian students who are ready for college and career actually succeeding?

Download the report

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014: American Indian Students report cover


September 24, 2015: Bridge Event Webinar: Supporting Hispanic Students Preparing for STEM Careers
This free webinar presents evidence-based strategies to support Hispanic students preparing for careers in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). The event is open to the public (3:00–4:30 p.m. CT). Register

September 30, 2015: Bridge Event Webinar: Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: State Planning Resources
Save the date for this free webinar on state plans to ensure equitable access to excellent educators. Learn how states are addressing equitable access and about the resources available to help. This event is hosted by REL Midwest, REL Southwest, REL West, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. The event is open to the public. Registration information available soon.

October 16, 2015: National Indian Education Association Workshop: RELs and Indian Education: Using Research to Guide Practice
Four Regional Educational Labs, including REL Southwest, will present a workshop at the 46th Annual National Indian Education Association (NIEA) Convention & Trade Show on the collaborative work of REL research alliances in addressing the regional needs of Native American education. The workshop will take place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon (4:00–5:15 p.m.). NIEA website

Miss a bridge event?
Go to our archived bridge events online to access videos, presentations, handouts, and resources.

View all upcoming events
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.
Our Partners
  • 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
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Tel: 800-476-6861
Twitter: @relsouthwest

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