REL Central Rural Education Research Alliance Update

The REL Central Rural Education Research Alliance (RERA), staffed by RMC Research Denver personnel, continues to expand its closing the achievement gap work with the addition of Missouri, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Superintendent and school administrator groups in Colorado and Nebraska are in their second year of identifying districts that have experienced achievement gap closure. Two districts in Nebraska (Brady and Neligh-Oakdale) were recognized for overall gap closure between students eligible for free and reduced lunch (FRL) and non FRL students at the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA) Spring Conference in Kearney, NE on March 17, 2016. Staff from these districts presented on factors that led to gap closure at a conference session on March 18. Districts in Colorado that closed the ACT post-secondary readiness gap will be honored at the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) conference in July 2016. Districts from Missouri, South Dakota, and North Dakota will be recognized at conferences in fall 2016 and will present on their best practices associated with gap closure. Researcher and practitioner webinars will be held in May and September 2016. REL Central RERA staff and representatives from districts that have experienced gap closure will present at the National Rural Education Association (NREA) Conference in Columbus, OH, October 13-15, 2016. REL Central publications on closing the achievement gap, including a literature summary, will be released later in 2016.