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Update-News from the Coordinating Group- Oct. 20, 013

posted Oct 25, 2013, 1:26 PM by Lonnie Rowell   [ updated Oct 25, 2013, 1:26 PM by Margaret Riel ]

A regular one-page update on ARNA activities by Lonnie Rowell, Chair, Transition Coordinating Group (TCG)



Founding Members. The first ARNA membership drive resulted in the registration of 95 Founding Members. Thanks to all who worked to reach our goal. Our challenge now is to involve new members in the working groups. Towards that end, a ‘Welcome Letter’ will be sent to all new members this week.

Change in Date for 2014 Conference. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to change dates for the 2014 Conference. Co-Chairs Joe Shosh and Cathy Bruce are working hard on this matter and will announce the new dates very soon.

ARNA Database.  A huge thank you to Cathy Bruce and Iris Stokes for their work establishing the new ARNA data base. Iris secured an agreement with Avidian Technologies that has given ARNA complimentary access to Prophet CRM (Customer Relations Management) software. We anticipate activating the new CRM prior to December 1.                                                      

Working groups.  We continue to develop our working group structure. We now have a total of 8 working groups: one state working group (Pennsylvania) as well as four topic/area/specialization working groups (ARNA en Espanola; Early Childhood Education; School Counseling; and School Leadership) and three operations working groups (2014 Conference; Memberships, Sponsorships & Affiliations; Web and Technology Development).

ARNA Priorities. ARNA is about to reach its 1st Anniversary. We have accomplished a great deal in the first year. To guide us in moving forward, the TCG has initiated a strategic planning process. For the remainder of 2013-2014 we will pilot an initial strategic plan. This plan will be distributed before Nov. 1. This spring the TCG also will develop a 3-year strategic plan that will be presented to ARNA members at the 2014 Conference.

AERA news.   My term as program chair for the AERA Action Research SIG ends at the 2014 AERA Conference. I have decided to step down from the AR SIG leadership group to concentrate my efforts with ARNA. I want to thank all who supported my involvement with the Action Research SIG for the past 4 years. Leadership openings for the AR SIG will be filled in the spring. Some of you may wish to add this to your service commitments.  Also, the AERA website recently posted an article about the Fall Policy Meeting of AERA’s Organization of Institutional Affiliates (OIA). The meeting brought together 55 member representatives from research institutions and graduate schools of education. Notes from the meeting indicate that much discussion was focused on federal education research policy. Sadly, it appears that no discussion of the role of practitioner research was included, and a formal letter from AERA Executive Director Felice Levine to Acting Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton regarding input on the public draft of the Dept. of Education’s Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2018 also made no mention of practitioner research. In particular, the draft Strategic Plan is also devoid of any mention of the potential of practitioner research to contribute to the effort to continuously improve the nation’s public schools. I hope ARNA will take up this issue in the near future.

Networking . November will see a considerable amount of networking outside of the USA. Joe Shosh will represent ARNA at this year’s CARN Conference in Norway. Miguel Angel and I will present an action research workshop at an international education conference to be held at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Mexicali, Mexico (Nov. 13) and will meet with ARNA founding members from throughout Mexico who will attend the conference. We also will present, with Iris Stokes, at the 12th Congreso Nacional De Investigación Educativa in Guanajuato, MX. This conference will take place November 19-22: