School Practices to Address Student Learning Loss

Elaine Allensworth | Chicago Research Consortium
Nate Schwartz | Annenberg Institute at Brown University

Breaking Down the Issue

  • Learning losses are likely to show up differently across grades and subjects, with intensive recovery needs concentrated in the early grades and among already struggling students.
  • Supportive school environments and strong teacher-student relationships speed recovery from learning loss.

Strategies to Consider

  • High-dosage tutoring that is directly tied to classroom content – helping students succeed in their coursework – can substantially accelerate learning in both math and reading for the most struggling students.
  • Extended learning time interventions, including weeklong acceleration academies staffed with highly effective teachers and some double dose math structures, show strong evidence of effectiveness.
  • Strong systems to monitor for early student warning signs paired with strong norms and routines help students recover emotionally and engage academically.

Strategies to Avoid

  • Compressed content, grade retention, and enhanced Response to Intervention (RTI) show less evidence that they substantially shift learning outcomes for struggling students, and some have potential adverse long-term consequences.