Officials of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System credited McREL’s research on leadership for helping their first Virtual Leadership Institute succeed, according to an item in the Marianas Variety.
June 8, 2020 | Denver, CO—The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others are horrific reminders of the extent to which racism exists in our country. The McREL community grieves for the victims and their families, and for all people who continue to be systemically mistreated, oppressed, and denied equal rights because of explicit and implicit racism, bigotry, and bias.
McREL was founded in the 1960s as part of the Great Society platform combatting poverty and inequality. Our charge was to discover effective teaching and leadership strategies and share them broadly with all schools so that all students would benefit. We have always believed that a quality education is a foundational civil right, from which all others flow. We’re proud of what we have accomplished, but clearly it hasn’t been enough. It is time to renew our commitment and be explicit about fighting systemic racism. We seek to support educators and ensure that all students have access to an equitable and transformative education.
May 4, 2020 | Denver, CO—Self-reflection is one of the most powerful habits teachers can develop to hone their instructional skills and expertise. To help teachers access the benefits of this highly personal form of professional development, McREL is pleased to introduce A Teacher’s Reflective Impact Journal: Pursuing Greatness Every Day. It’s a guided 144-page journal that lets teachers chronicle which classroom practices are going great, which could stand some improvement, and how they’re growing and changing along the way.
“Educators want to continually grow as professionals, and research supports the notion that journaling speeds up and reinforces this process,” said co-author Pete Hall. “It helps us synthesize and clarify our thoughts, it fosters our creativity and curiosity, and it’s a truly personalized means of professional learning growth.”
Tech & Learning Magazine’s 2019 Award of Excellence announcement included a McREL ed-tech partner: Discovery Education. The magazine gave the company a top nod for its product Discovery Education Experience, the latest iteration of their popular Streaming Plus service, in the Best Re-Invention of a Classic Legacy Technology category.
In Discovery Education’s press release about the award, they mention that the instructional strategies they offer within the product are “aligned to McREL International’s 6-Phase Model of Learning.” This model uses research and science on the brain and memory to explain how students learn, retain, recall, and apply information in the classroom, and provides a sequence of instruction that teachers can use to maximize learning.
Discovery Education is “laser-focused on creating innovative, educator-centric, digital experiences that support educators’ efforts to improve student achievement,” said Pete Weir, Discovery Education’s chief product officer.
Discovery Education Experience’s standards-aligned content is assignable and can be bookmarked and saved for later use and remixed to meet the varying needs of diverse student populations in a safe and secure environment. The service’s ever-growing digital content collections, as well as a library of immersive virtual field trips, are drawn from trusted partners.
December 4, 2019 | Denver, CO—Tools for Igniting Curiosity, co-published today by Silver Strong & Associates and McREL International, gives teachers 21 ways to turn students’ natural curiosity into a self-sustaining force for lifelong learning.
Designed to be used in all grade levels and subjects, the book’s tools are aligned with cognitive science to help teachers capitalize on key levers proven to pique student curiosity—levers such as mysteries, controversy, missing information, personal experiences, and emotions. The tools also show teachers how to sustain curiosity over the course of lessons and units so that students actively transform classroom content into deep understanding. By tapping into the natural power of curiosity, teachers increase engagement and help students learn how to learn—and how to love it so much that they want to keep learning.
Discovery Education recently announced the creation of the STEM Careers Coalition and has contracted McREL to perform a multi-year evaluation of the initiative’s impact. In this news item published by Yahoo Finance, Lori McFarling, Discovery Education’s president of corporate partnerships, explains that the project aims to provide free digital content to 10 million students by 2025 to prepare them for the science, technology, engineer, and mathematics work that will be ever more significant in the future. The coalition, which includes some of the biggest names in American business and industry, is reaching out to families in public, private, charter, and tribal schools to build support for STEM education and careers.
Cheryl Abla, a McREL expert on professional learning and effective instruction, participated in the Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo blog, hosted by Education Week, on the question of, “What does ‘student engagement’ mean, and what can we do to promote it in our classrooms?” To Cheryl, “student engagement means connectedness . . . it’s where attitudes and skill sets collide.” She provided seven research-inspired tactics that teachers can put into play ASAP. Several other national experts contributed great ideas, too.
The education technology publication THE Journal continued its coverage of a national school safety grant program offered by Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) that involves McREL as an program evaluation partner. Through GG4L, schools can get free access to 45 “curated” products that support seven areas of student safety: emergency preparedness, emotional and behavioral health, digital and online safety, physical campus security, physical health and wellness, engaged community, and healthy culture. As schools use the products, McREL will conduct evaluation studies of the products’ efficacy and outcomes. The journal quoted GGFL’s CEO, Robert Iskander, as saying, “Data-driven, evidence-informed decision making is essential for those charged with school safety and student wellness.”
October 14, 2019 | Denver, CO — McREL International is pleased to announce the publication of its latest book, Pursuing Greatness: Empowering Teachers to Take Charge of Their Professional Growth by Pete Hall, Alisa Simeral, and Bryan Goodwin with Bj Stone and Bess Scott.
Pursuing Greatness advances the self-reflective practices that education authors and consultants Hall and Simeral have explored in previous bestsellers including Teach, Reflect, Learn: Building Your Capacity for Success in the Classroom. It identifies two dozen of the most common problems of professional practice that teachers face and organizes them along pathways so that whichever problem a teacher chooses to address first, the destination is a classroom in which students experience more ownership of, and investment in, their learning. Along the way, robust tools and tips for reflective practice support the authors’ contention that the most effective professional development is created by teachers themselves.
October 3, 2019 | Denver, CO—McREL International today announced it has won competitive bids to become the primary manager of two of the U.S. Department of Education’s 19 Regional Comprehensive Centers located across the U.S. and in U.S. territories and freely associated states. Beginning October 1, 2019, and running through September 2024, McREL will operate the Region 11 center serving Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and the Region 12 center serving Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.
Working in partnership with state departments of education, the regional centers provide capacity-building and intensive technical assistance services and help to implement, scale, and sustain evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions that support improved educator and student outcomes.