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Educational Equity and Special Populations

Priority No. 3: Ensuring Educational Equity and Supporting Special Populations

The states and territories of the Northeast and Islands Region have long been devoted to eliminating achievement gaps and ensuring successful educational outcomes for all students. But all educators struggle to understand the many factors that combine to affect student achievement, resilience, and outcomes over time. As longitudinal data systems mature and the education research community builds new methodological approaches to understanding and tracking these outcomes, educators will be able to draw upon a larger body of findings to understand these issues.

Regional stakeholders seeking REL-NEI’s analytic support have expressed particular interest in using research to better understand the diversity among and needs of their English language learner (ELL) students, and to inform the improvement of services to the youngest students in the region. Policymakers in Connecticut and Maine, in particular, have made long-term investments in improving the supports across early childhood programs and grades P–3. Although these states have established significant expertise and developed detailed policies regarding critical early childhood issues, such as standards for educator training and procedures for evaluating the quality of educational environments, much work remains to build an integrated approach to data collection and analysis that can support adequate and appropriate monitoring of young children through their first educational experiences.

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