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What’s Happening

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Approaches to evaluating teacher preparation programs in seven states

This publication presents findings from a study that describes how states in the REL Central region evaluate teacher preparation programs and shares planned changes for evaluation.

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Where American Indian Students Go To School: Enrollment in Seven Central Region States

This brief presents descriptive information about schools in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Central Region that have a high enrollment of American Indian students. The primary purpose is to inform the development of sampling strategies in future research. Specifically, the brief is intended to help educators, policymakers, and researchers plan where to conduct future field-based research on the use of language and culture to support American Indian students’ academic success.

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How Do School Districts Mentor New Teachers?

This report provides a snapshot of school district policies for mentoring new teachers in five Regional Educational Laboratory Central states (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota). State education agencies collected survey data from school districts on who provides mentoring, how time spent mentoring changes after the first year, whether mentors are required to observe mentees, whether mentors are required to receive training, whether districts provide stipends to mentors for their work, and what barriers districts identify to implementing mentoring programs. Respondents from nearly 1,000 school districts, including superintendents and other district administrative leaders, completed the survey during the 2013/14 school year.

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State policies for intervening in chronically low-performing schools: A 50-state scan

Recent federal initiatives such as School Improvement Grants and Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility emphasize the role of state education agencies in improving chronically low-performing schools. But state policies limit what actions state education agencies can take. As state education leaders and policymakers consider how best to intervene to improve these schools, they may wish to learn about the policies in other states. This report summarizes current policies in all 50 states related to state interventions in chronically low-performing schools. The policies describe the types of interventions that states are legally authorized to implement; however, states likely vary in the extent to which they actually implement the interventions.

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Understanding field experiences in traditional teacher preparation programs in Missouri

Field experiences, which include student teaching and other teacher preparation activities, such as observing classes or tutoring, are a component of nearly all teacher preparation programs and a centerpiece of national and state standards related to teacher preparation. Members of Regional Educational Laboratory Central’s Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance, which includes state education agency and teacher preparation program administrators and faculty, have expressed a need for better information about the implementation and effectiveness of teacher preparation programs to guide policy and practice.