REL West in the News

December 2013 REL West Research Digest: Improving Math Instruction in the Silicon Valley

December 2013 REL West Research Digest: Improving Math Instruction in the Silicon Valley

December 2013 REL West Research Digest
December 30, 2013


The REL West Research Digest keeps educators and others abreast of research carried out by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West at WestEd. In addition, this twice-yearly digest may include descriptions of upcoming REL West work, services, and events, and, as relevant to the West Region, of publications developed by other researchers. - See more at: http://relwest.wested.org/news#sthash.fMexMZID.dpuf

What are districts in the Silicon Valley Research Alliance doing to improve the chances that local secondary students will complete college-preparatory mathematics classes?

  • In part, by conducting educator seminars focused on research and strategies for developing math course content and sequences for grades 6 through 8especially in the context of Common Core State Standards.
  • Also, by supporting collaboration between middle school and high school educators to ensure that students don't fall off-track for college as they transition to high school.

Also in this issue: Fall bridge events bringing researchers, policy makers, and practitioners together to address strategies for improving student achievement; and selected publications on the importance of tracking mathematics performance from 6th through 8th grade.

 The REL West Research Digest keeps educators and others abreast of research carried out by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West at WestEd. In addition, this twice-yearly digest may include descriptions of upcoming REL West work, services, and events, and, as relevant to the West Region, of publications developed by other researchers.



August 2013 REL West Research Digest Features Dropout Prevention

August 2013 REL West Research Digest Features Dropout Prevention

August 2013 REL West Research Digest
August 21, 2013


The current issue of the REL West Research Digest focuses on dropout prevention, a regional priority for REL West and the states—Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah—it serves. The digest features work that the Dropout Prevention Alliance for Utah Students with Disabilities is doing with 14 alliance schools to implement an early warning system tool that identifies students at risk for not graduating from high school so that schools and districts can target appropriate interventions.

The other featured initiative is Washoe County (NV) School District’s student voice toolkit, developed with REL West to incorporate effective practices that promote adult/student collaborative problem solving related to dropout issues.

The August 2013 digest also includes links to additional publications on dropout prevention.

The REL West Research Digest keeps educators and others abreast of research carried out by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West at WestEd. In addition, this twice-yearly digest may include descriptions of upcoming REL West work, services, and events, and, as relevant to the West Region, of publications developed by other researchers.

 


REL West Researcher Prominently Featured in Annual Coverage of High School Dropouts

REL West Researcher Prominently Featured in Annual Coverage of High School Dropouts

Diplomas Count 2013
June 6, 2013 | Education Week


REL West at WestEd's Senior Research Associate BethAnn Berliner appeared three times in Education Week's annual coverage of high school graduation, "Diplomas Count 2013."

The new, national report featured Berliner's work on dropout prevention.

In the article, "A 'Neglected' Population Gets Another Chance at a Diploma," Berliner comments that educators have had access to systems that predict students at risk of dropping out and programs to help retain those students.

"But I don't think there was a hunger to return dropouts before the economic downturn," she says. "It was believed that there were still places in the economy that they could go. We know now that isn't the case."

The article, "Many Dropouts Try—and Fail—to Return to School," profiles a research project in which Berliner studied the reenrollment of high school dropouts in a large, urban school district. Of those who initially dropped out of high school, nearly a third returned to school at least once. But fewer than 20 percent of those who had dropped out eventually made it all the way back to graduate.   

In "Online Providers Find a Market in Dropout Recovery," the author explains that educators have "done a bad job of selling credit recovery," the process of helping student make up credits toward graduation that they missed by dropping out. "It's actually content recovery," says Berliner. "We're setting students up for a very limited future if we don't give them the content. ... They need to be knowledgeable, not just get units."


October 2012 REL West Research Digest Highlights Common Core State Standards

October 2012 REL West Research Digest Highlights Common Core State Standards

REL West Research Digest
October 31, 2012


The current issue of the REL West Research Digest focuses on the Common Core State Standards. Read about a recent conference that provided over 200 California educators an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the new standards, learn from experts and each other, engage in discussions and planning activities, and collaborate to move forward with implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Other articles feature excerpts from two October 2012 webinars presented by national experts who offered in-depth information and practical, affordable suggestions for implementing instructional shifts related to the mathematics and English language arts standards.

The REL West Research Digest keeps educators and others abreast of the research carried out by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West at WestEd. In addition to providing abstracts of selected REL West research reports, this twice-yearly digest may include descriptions of upcoming REL West work, services, and events, and, as relevant to the West Region, of publications developed by other researchers.

 


WestEd Awarded New REL West Contract

January 4, 2012


WestEd has received a multi-year contract from the U.S. Department of Education to operate the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West), comprising Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. WestEd and its parent agencies, Far West Laboratory and Southwest Regional Laboratory, has held the contract for this regional laboratory continuously since the federal program began in 1966.

The Institute of Education Sciences within the Department of Education oversees the 10 RELs nationwide.

"We are pleased to have an opportunity to carry out what should be a challenging and rewarding scope of work for the new lab," says Gary Estes, WestEd Chief Program Officer and REL West Co-Director. "We look forward to working as a partner with new collaborative alliances throughout the western region as this work develops."

REL West serves the region by providing scientifically valid research findings that help meet the needs of educators, from teachers to state chief officers.

Laboratory staff draw from existing high-quality research, as well as conduct research and development projects and experimental studies. They also help stakeholders interpret evidence and build their own research capacity.