| News from Brown
“The pandemic closed a lot of schools and in the process created even greater inequalities in the access students have to good educational opportunities,” said Susanna Loeb, a professor of education at Brown who directs the Annenberg Institute. “Many students weren’t able to connect, both metaphorically — as in, they found virtual learning very difficult — and literally — as in, they didn’t have internet access or the right technology. We came in thinking: ‘What is out there that could really accelerate the learning of students in need so that they don’t lose months or years of progress?’”
| Center on the Study of Educators
Providence Public School District (PPSD) made significant progress last year in ensuring that most classrooms were fully staffed by the start of the 2020-21 school year (see the previous brief in this series for more detail). Despite more positions to fill and higher-than-usual retirement numbers during the pandemic, PPSD hired earlier across the spring of 2020 and significantly reduced vacancies by the start of the school year. The district also hired more teachers of color – a high-priority item given the large disparity between the racial/ethnic make-up of PPSD teachers and their students. Going forward, the district must contend with ongoing areas of challenge, particularly in filling open positions for English learner (EL), math, and science classrooms.
- | The 74
It isn’t just the research community buzzing about tutoring — it is gaining momentum in policy circles, too. Bob Slavin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University have put forth a “Tutoring Marshall Plan,” based on a similar idea championed by Sen. Chris Coons that would provide funding for as many as 300,000 college students to be recruited, trained and coached as tutors. Susanna Loeb and colleagues at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University recently launched the National Student Support Accelerator, an ambitious initiative aimed at implementing research-aligned tutoring programs at scale. And Institute of Education Sciences Director Mark Schneider recently co-authored a piece highlighting the growing consensus that tutoring is “the most promising candidate for successful COVID catch-up.”
| Results for America
Today, Results for America and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University released four new EdResearch for Recovery briefs that highlight evidence-based strategies to help policymakers and educators address key challenges, including:
- How can we support students' social and emotional well-being during and after this pandemic?
- How can we help students who are English Learners (ELs)?
- How can community partnerships help schools and districts meet students' urgent needs?
- What type of tutoring will be most effective to address learning loss and increase student learning?
| Brown Center Chalkboard - The Brookings Institution
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in record-setting unemployment in the United States. While employment for higher-income workers has largely rebounded, employment rates are still 21% lower than the start of 2020 for the lowest-wage earners. Anywhere from 32% to 43% of jobs experiencing a coronavirus-induced layoff will likely transform into a permanent position cut. Policymakers are increasingly looking to workforce training for displaced workers as one solution to a faster economic recovery. Though workforce training recruitment often targets individuals who never attended college as a young adult, even individuals who already hold a postsecondary credential may need additional training to recover from current unemployment and to prepare for the post-COVID-19 economy.
| The Christian Science Monitor
“Hopefully we come out with new ideas about what engagement and motivation and building connections can look like at a distance,” says Nate Schwartz, professor of practice at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and co-founder of EdResearch for Recovery.
| GBH News
Nathaniel Schwartz, an education researcher at Brown University, said districts could also consider tutoring programs, summer school offerings and nightmarish-sounding "double-dose algebra" courses to make up for learning losses.
But first and foremost, he said, kids need to return to school buildings to form strong in-person relationships with adults.
"The schools that seem to have been most successful across this time period are those that have found ways to provide strong connection and support while continuing to push forward on the academic pieces," Schwartz said. "And that's a tall order. That's why the work is feeling so hard to so many people right now."
| Boston GlobeThese results match the expectations of Susanna Loeb, the director of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, which conducts research and advocacy in support of urban public schools. She says students whose parents had the resources to invest in tutors or set up pods would be unlikely to suffer. “We don’t worry that all students lost,” she says. “We worry that some students lost a lot more than others did.” In other words, COVID’s most enduring educational legacy will likely be worsening inequality — of opportunity and outcome — in a country already skewed toward the haves.
- | Education Week
The metrics recognize university-based scholars in the U.S. who are doing the most to influence educational policy and practice. The rubric reflects both a scholar's larger body of work and their impact on the public discourse last year.
For the full list and to learn more about the rankings, visit The 2021 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings.
| The Minority Report - American Economic AssociationCommunities of color in the United States and throughout the world are suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This health crisis has not just eroded the well-being of people of color (POC); it has exacerbated and brought to the forefront the racial, health, economic, gender, and education inequalities at the foundation of American society. The visible eruption of a multiethnic, multiracial, multigenerational, and international movement led by Black activists within the context of the pandemic is not a coincidence but a deliberate, organized effort to demand social justice for the very communities where this health crisis is felt most deeply. Coronavirus is not the “great equalizer” but the great exposer of how race in this country overdetermines social, health, and economic outcomes for POC.