At the Center on Reinventing Public Education

In times of crisis, knowledge must flow freely and quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic created just such a crisis in K-12 education.

Research is needed. But fragmented initiatives, conflicting findings, and duplicated efforts will not yield the dividends we need. Without coordination, we risk overlooking major gaps in our evidence base that leave essential questions unanswered.

For these reasons, the Center on Reinventing Public Education has launched a new initiative that will advance solutions-oriented analysis of the K-12 response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Ashley Jochim, Padma Gundapaneni, and Cara Pangelinan set out to understand parents' attitudes about school reopening and the impacts of school closures on their children's well-being, as well as how families are adjusting their plans in response to school closures.

Based on a review of nationally representative surveys, they found:

  • A majority of parents consistently favor some in-person learning, but support for fully in-person learning dropped significantly over the summer amid rising case counts and public health fears.

  • Evidence on how parents’ attitudes about reopening vary is still emerging but points to gaps along income lines.

  • Parents are increasingly worried about their children’s academic and social well-being. This is especially true of low-income families and families of color.

  • With continued safety concerns and in-person instruction in short supply, many families are seeking alternatives.

With the October wave of nationally representative Understanding America Study survey data of 1,335 households over time, Anna Saavedra, Amie Rapaport, and Dan Silver describe the emerging picture of who remote K-12 learners are and what resources are available to them.

Together, these data show how the gaps in computer access, childcare, and academic support can exacerbate educational inequity. Policymakers and school system leaders should focus their attention on improvements in each of these areas, particularly for lower-income households. At a minimum, they should:

  1. Keep pushing on device distribution to ensure that all students have access to a dedicated device that they don't have to share, and continue to monitor internet access to ensure that students have a stable connection.

  2. Prioritize such investments that will help close gaps in students' access to academic supports, such as tutoring.

  3. Seek ways to support parents in their efforts to support their children's learning.

In collaboration with several members of the Evidence Project, we are excited to announce a research agenda that we hope will help instigate new work on COVID-19’s impacts on students, families, educators, and school systems.

Brief: Learning As We Go

Robin Lake and Lynn Olson summarize the findings from a panel of assessment experts on diagnostic assessments and their role in helping educators and parents support student learning.


RESEARCH AND SURVEYS

The project currently includes 150 researchers from over 100 different organizations, convened by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell. New researchers are joining nearly every day and we are expanding outreach to international scholars to share knowledge across national boundaries.

If you are a researcher doing work on the K-12 response to COVID-19, we invite you to join us.

EVIDENCE PROJECT NEWSLETTER

Notes from the Evidence Project is a weekly newsletter recapping all of the new research, surveys, and commentaries on K-12 and COVID-19.



GET INVOLVED

The project currently includes 150 researchers from over 100 different organizations, convened by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell. New researchers are joining nearly every day and we are expanding outreach to international scholars to share knowledge across national boundaries.

If you are a researcher doing work on the K-12 response to COVID-19, we invite you to join us.

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