| Education Week
Into this breach has stepped the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, which late last week announced the launch of its National School Support Accelerator. Partly a hands-on tutoring initiative and partly a research project, Annenberg is funding a variety of demonstration tutoring sites throughout the United States to study and refine what we know about tutoring. Eventually, it wants to spin off the project into its own organization.
"The trick, I think, is that when you scale something it's not as good as it is initially," said Susanna Loeb, the director of the Annenberg Institute. "How can we be careful so it scales at quality? What kind of resources are available so we know that it's quality, and they're doing it in a way that the research shows is most effective? That's really what this organization is aiming to do."
| National Student Support Accelerator
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened existing educational inequities, causing an estimated 6 - 12 months of learning loss already. The National Student Support Accelerator’s vision is that all K-12 students in need have access to high-impact tutoring as part of their core educational experience that helps them learn and grow - to addressing COVID-19-related learning loss, and supporting academic success in the long term.
Please check out our new website to see the work we have begun, what plans we have for our upcoming official launch and how you can get involved!
| The New York Times
In May, researchers at Brown University looked at existing data on learning loss related to traditional types of school closure — absenteeism and summer breaks, for example — to estimate the impact of school closure under these extraordinary circumstances. Their projections found that students would return to school this fall with approximately two-thirds of the reading gains relative to a regular school year and about a third to a half of the learning gains in math. The top third of students, though, those with houses full of books and hyperengaged parents, were likely to return with reading gains.
| Brown Center Chalkboard - The Brookings Institution
Substitute teachers are an important (yet oft-ignored) group of educators in the U.S. school system. The reason is simple: Substitute teachers spend substantial time with K-12 students. Like other professionals, teachers are absent from work for various reasons, such as sickness, professional development, or personal issues. Based on one estimate drawn from a sample of large U.S. metropolitan districts, teachers miss an average of about 11 days out of a 186-day school year. This means that students spend, on average, approximately two-thirds of a school year with substitute teachers during the entirety of their K-12 schooling—not a trivial amount of time.
| The 74
New public opinion research indicates that COVID-19 and the hurried transition to remote learning presented teachers with an array of challenges that seriously damaged their sense of self-efficacy. The quality of school working conditions, including fair expectations and clear communication, was found to be critical in sustaining the educators’ perceptions of professional success.
While over half of the teachers surveyed by academics at Brown University and the City University of New York experienced a decline in their sense of success, those who reported better working conditions were somewhat shielded from the effects, said co-author Matthew Kraft, a professor of education and economics at Brown. He added that lessons could be taken from schools that offered strong instructional leadership and opportunities for collaboration.
- | The 74
COVID-19 has increased the need for schools to communicate with families while reducing opportunities for face-to-face interactions. As a result, families have received an onslaught of emails, text messages and detailed websites. Many of these are dense. Too often, the best families can do is quickly skim — if they read these at all.
While more information needs to be shared in writing than ever before, more communication is not necessarily better. The goal is not to just send information out, but for recipients to understand the information they receive. We all struggle with long emails that arrive in our inboxes while we are racing around doing a million other things. Or with multiple emails from the same sender that accumulate, unread. When we finally do open a message to figure out what we need to know, we get distracted before reaching the main point. So how can schools rise above the seemingly never-ending barrage of information to ensure successful outreach to families?
| Zoom CaresUp to 1.6 billion children around the world have been impacted by school closures during the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has exposed inequities in education - from access to computers and technology for remote learning, to the support teachers need to provide quality education during this challenging time.
Please join us in supporting schools and teachers here in the US and globally as they ensure our world’s children continue to learn and thrive through this pandemic.
- | Results for America
Today, Results for America and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University released three new EdResearch for Recovery briefs that highlight what the evidence tells us about some of the toughest questions facing policymakers, educators and families, including:
- What changes in central office systems are likely to support principals in leading for equitable, high-quality teaching and learning?
- How can schools create contexts that foster safety and prosocial behaviors in the wake of COVID-19 and the ongoing state of increased unrest over racial justice?
- How can schools and districts support families in their diverse contexts and build practical trust to support student learning?
| AP News“When you look at the distance learning research, very little has been carried out on young students, even below middle school,” said Brown University’s Schwartz, who is a member of the committee that wrote the report and is also running a project that provides research to school leaders who are trying to make decisions during the pandemic. “Few people were even considering that it could be considered with kids this young.”
With teachers suddenly thrust into remote learning last spring, what impact did that have on their sense of success and their students’ engagement? Researchers Matthew Kraft of Brown University and FutureEd, Nicole Simon of CUNY, and Melissa Arnold Lyon of Brown University explored the work-from-home conditions during COVID-19 in a new working paper, Sustaining a Sense of Success: The Importance of Teacher Working Conditions During the COVID-19 Pandemic.