| Education WeekNew research is already showing major setbacks to academic achievement in the months of disrupted schooling forced by COVID-19, with estimates that some students will have lost as much as a full school year’s worth of learning gains. How can districts and schools effectively measure and diagnose the learning losses? What types of interventions and staffing changes can be deployed to address the losses?
| District Administration
Engagement and equity issues need not hinder online and blended learning this school year in the same way they disrupted K-12 education when COVID shut schools down in the spring.
Six strategies administrators and their teams can take to drive quality and engagement in online and hybrid learning have been detailed in a new report, “Improving the Quality of Distance and Blended Learning,” from The Annenberg Institute at Brown University’s EdResearch for Recovery Project.
“Distance and blended learning have never been implemented at the scale they will be in the 2020-21 school year,” the report says.
| Results for America
Today, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and Results for America released two new EdResearch for Recovery briefs from leading education researchers addressing important COVID-related challenges facing policymakers, educators, and parents: distance learning and supporting immigrant students during COVID-19.
| Education Week
One-on-one tutoring is the original “personalized learning,” dating back centuries. Along with the Socratic seminar, it may be among the oldest pedagogies still in existence. And as it turns out, it is probably the single most powerful strategy for responding to learning loss.
Increasingly, top education researchers agree that tutoring programs for students who lost ground over the last six months should be a top priority for federal investment. There is potential, they say, for such a program to help ease unemployment. After all, the economic downturn means there’s a glut of talented college graduates and other degree holders who might...
| Education Week
The past decades of often frantic “school reform” has yielded few turnaround models that have shown positive effects for students. Often, in addition to lackluster results, they’ve left a lot of detritus in their wake: overpaid consultants, demoralized teachers, and a fragmented community.
With millions of students possibly in need of extra support to make up for last spring’s disrupted schooling, stakes are too high for approaches that won’t pay dividends for student learning.
- | The 74Individual or small group instruction is crucial to successful in-person special education and will be key to making interventions effective in distance learning. Recommendations from the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, part of the EdResearch for Recovery Project, include having paraprofessionals take over scoring exams and completing paperwork to free up special education teachers to use their specialized expertise in one-on-one settings.
| Research Minutes
A new policy brief, coauthored by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research‘s Elaine Allensworth and the Annenberg Institute‘s Nate Schwartz, offers some research-backed strategies for schools attempting to address student learning loss in the months ahead.
Allensworth discusses the brief, the potential scope of learning loss, and a number of interventions and supports proven to accelerate learning for struggling students.
| Annenberg Institute
“The COVID-19 pandemic has widened existing educational inequities, impacting students in significant ways. With students learning remotely or in hybrid formats, there is a heightened need for one-on-one instruction around specific topics or curriculum areas, but teachers’ resources are stretched thin. Online one-on-one tutoring is a powerful educational intervention that can support students’ academic, social and emotional needs. However, this resource is often available only to families who can afford to pay for it. By making free tutoring available to every K-12 student in participating schools, our program aims to level the playing field and lead to more positive outcomes for all students. We’re excited to partner with Tutor Matching Service in this endeavor to continue serving our local students, families and communities.” – Soljane Martinez, Ed.D., Education Coordinator, Annenberg Institute at Brown University
The tutoring is expected to be conducted both virtually and in person. It’s appealing to policymakers now because there is plenty of both supply (recent college graduates and others looking for work) and demand (students who lost learning). It’s also appealing because research really does back intensive tutoring as a way to help students make big learning gains, though notably, most studies look at in-person rather than virtual tutoring.
| The New York TimesSome organizations are working to make one-on-one instruction available to kids for whom private tutoring might not be an option. Brown University in Providence, R.I., has begun piloting a program connecting undergraduate students with seniors at a nearby public high school for remote tutoring sessions; it will expand across the district this fall. “We really hope that it’s going to ease that burden, at least a little bit, for many families,” said Soljane Martinez, the education coordinator at the university’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform.