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Welcome to the REL Midwest Newsroom, where you can find information about the research projects and activities conducted in collaboration with our eight research alliances. In addition, we invite you to learn more about REL Midwest through interviews with our researchers, alliance members, and more. We encourage you to subscribe for alerts on the latest newsroom posts (see right sidebar) and to send comments and story ideas to

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Sarah Rand | December 22, 2016

“There has not been a school turnaround absent of a strong leader.” With these words, Catherine Barbour, school turnaround expert at American Institutes for Research (AIR), set the stage for a...

Sarah Rand | December 9, 2016

We looked back at the past five years of work and rounded up popular and useful resources. Check out the following list (in no particular order).

Cora Goldston | December 8, 2016

To help the state reduce achievement gaps in Focus schools, REL Midwest partnered with the Michigan Department of Education, intermediate school districts, local school districts, and schools to...

Cora Goldston | December 6, 2016

Driven by the research needs and interests of Midwest state education agencies, our Educator Effectiveness Research...

Carrie Scholz | December 5, 2016

As we reflect on the success of the research alliances, we recognize that the work would not have been possible without strong alliance members committed to improving practice, alliance leads...

Emily Kirkwood | November 30, 2016

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance launched in...

Emily Loney | November 28, 2016

During the past five years, REL Midwest’s work on college and career success has intersected with three research alliances – the...

Julie Kochanek | November 21, 2016

As we come to the end of our five years of work under the 2012–2016 Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest contract, it is a great time to reflect on what we accomplished together and to...

Emily Loney | October 20, 2016

What’s happening in early childhood education? Check out the following resources and events to find out.

Emily Kirkwood | October 17, 2016

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its Early Childhood Education Research Alliance...

Cora Goldston | October 13, 2016

Early childhood education (ECE) has been one of Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s regional priorities since the current REL contract began in 2012.

Sarah Rand | October 10, 2016

People often think education research takes too long to help teachers and principals in their quest to improve students’ learning.

Karen Yocky | August 24, 2016

What’s happening in urban education? Check out the following resources and events to find out!

Sarah Rand | August 22, 2016

What has managing researcher Steve Plank learned from his work with REL Midwest? “Listen more than talk.” Read our profile to learn why. 

Cora Goldston | August 17, 2016

Meet Marc Sanders, member of the ...

Emily Kirkwood | August 15, 2016

To improve the educational experiences of its 76,000 students, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) offers hundreds of programs from external partners.

Emily Loney | August 10, 2016

Does your district or state use an early warning system to identify students at risk of dropping out?

Nora Bouacha | July 25, 2016

Check out these resources and upcoming events related to dropout prevention.

Emily Loney | July 20, 2016

Ann-Marie Faria, Ph.D., is a principal researcher at American Institutes for Research who has been involved with Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest in a number of roles, including as...

Emily Kirkwood | July 18, 2016

Over the past 5 years, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest has partnered with public television stations across the Midwest to produce programs on pressing issues in education.

Cora Goldston | July 14, 2016

Around the Midwest, district officials are trying new initiatives to increase student achievement and keep students engaged.

Sarah Rand | July 11, 2016

Back in March, we shared a three-part podcast series about a project working with partners...

Cora Goldston | June 22, 2016

What’s happening in the world of school turnaround? Check out our roundup of recent events and resources!

Emily Kirkwood | June 20, 2016

In December 2015, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest hosted a filmed panel discussion with school turnaround experts on the qualities and competencies that characterize effective school...

Emily Kirkwood | June 16, 2016

In March 2016, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and REL Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) organized a cross-region discussion about early childhood...

Nora Bouacha | June 15, 2016

Karen Ruple is the program manager of the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) MI Excel Statewide System of...

Sarah Rand | June 13, 2016

Nancy Lubeski is a principal at Wexford Montessori, a PreK–8 school in Lansing, Michigan.

Sarah Rand | June 8, 2016

On April 26, 2016, the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest board gathered outside Chicago to share ideas and to network. These meetings occur every six months.

Taishya Adams & Emily Loney | June 6, 2016

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest School Turnaround Research Alliance members will attend...

Sarah Rand | May 23, 2016

Check out our new video series about the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance! The five videos in this series...

Emily Kirkwood | May 23, 2016

Check out these resources and upcoming events related to educator effectiveness.

Cora Goldston | May 18, 2016

Liz Barkowski, Ph.D., is a senior researcher with the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest Educator...

Nora Bouacha | May 16, 2016

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, in conjunction with its Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance...

Emily Kirkwood | May 13, 2016

The director of the Office of Professional Preparation and Certification Services at the Michigan Department of Education, Leah Breen, joined Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s...

Liz Barkowski & Carrie Scholz | May 11, 2016

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance (EERA) recently began a...

Sarah Rand | April 25, 2016

We rounded up recent reports, resources, and archived and upcoming events related to rural education. Check it out!

Sarah Rand | April 18, 2016

Lyzz Davis, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at American Institutes for Research (AIR).

Emily Kirkwood | April 11, 2016

Kim Kaukl is the executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) and a member of Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s...

Nora Bouacha | April 7, 2016

Senior researcher Lyzz Davis, Ph.D., presented at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) 2016 conference on the college enrollment...

Nora Bouacha | March 28, 2016

We rounded up new resources and upcoming events related to college and career success.

Cora Goldston | March 21, 2016

Pradeep Kotamraju, Ph.D., is the bureau chief for Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the Iowa Department of Education.

Sarah Rand | March 18, 2016

Check out our third podcast about an exciting REL Midwest project happening in Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Sarah Rand | March 15, 2016

REL Midwest’s Career and College Success Research Alliance (CCSRA) is wrapping up a research...

Sarah Rand | March 11, 2016

Part 2 of our podcast series is out!

Emily Kirkwood | March 7, 2016

Jim Lindsay, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

Emily Loney | February 22, 2016

We rounded up recent reports and upcoming events related to virtual education. 

Nora Bouacha | February 16, 2016

Mary Herring, Ph.D., is a professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Northern Iowa. She also is a member of REL Midwest’s Virtual Education Research Alliance (VERA). Dr.

Emily Kirkwood & Sarah Rand | February 8, 2016

Since 2012, REL Midwest’s Virtual Education Research Alliance (VERA) has conducted research projects...

Cora Goldston | February 1, 2016

Curious about the challenges that online teachers face? Interested in professional development opportunities for virtual educators?

Sarah Rand | January 6, 2016

With over 50 REL Midwest staff working tirelessly on research and technical assistance projects, our team has accomplished a great deal this year. 

Sarah Rand & Cora Goldston | December 9, 2015

A gap exists in college enrollment between rural and nonrural high school graduates in the United States.

Emily Wray | December 1, 2015

What qualities make for an effective school turnaround leader? What are the key skills and competencies school leaders in turnaround schools need to be successful?

Emily Loney | November 23, 2015

Monica Bhatt, a researcher with REL Midwest’s School Turnaround Research Alliance, is working to...

Marianne Kroeger | November 13, 2015

Greg Keith, director of the Division of School Support at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), has been with the department for three and half years and a member of the School Turnaround...

Sarah Rand | October 21, 2015

Laurie Kruszynski is a data coordinator at Scott High School in Toledo (Ohio) Public Schools and member of the REL Midwest...

Sarah Rand & Annie Li | October 5, 2015

REL Midwest and its Virtual Education Research Alliance (VERA) recently published a report examining...

Marianne Kroeger | September 30, 2015

American Institutes for Research (AIR) Managing Director Julie Kochanek has deep experience in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) program, including serving in senior positions with REL...

Sarah Rand, Caitlin Jacob & Annie Li | September 3, 2015

Richard Wassen, who recently retired as the Director of Educator Licensing at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), has worked with Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest for 15...

Peggy Clements & Pam Jacobs | September 1, 2015

You probably already knew that one of the goals of the Virtual Education Research Alliance (VERA) is...

Emily Wray | August 7, 2015

Senior Researcher Laura Hawkinson, Ph.D., chatted with REL Midwest’s communications team about her work with the...

Marianne Kroeger and Emily Wray | June 25, 2015

Marcel Kielkucki knew he was going to teach history at Iowa’s Kirkwood Community College when he joined the staff in 2006 and signed on as high school distance learning coordinator for...

REL Midwest | June 15, 2015

It is one thing to emphasize the importance of collaboration for successful research but quite another thing to understand how to build a successful research partnership with policy and...