January 13, 2022 | a guide to virtual learning in the covid era
Virtual Learning, Now and Beyond
The pandemic-fueled expansion of online learning will certainly persist beyond the pandemic, and schools must ensure that the transition creates accessible, high-quality options for all students. Most recently, the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases and persistent ambiguity around whether and how to close schools reinforces the fact that we have failed to build intentional on-ramps to virtual education. State and local leaders can employ evidence from past online learning efforts, emerging best practices, and data from the pandemic to understand how to build a path forward that capitalizes on the potential of online learning, while avoiding the pitfalls.
Virtual learning is not going away, but it must improve, especially for students of color and those facing economic insecurity. The bottom line is that we cannot repeat the emergency distance learning that took place in 2020 and 2021, and we remain unprepared to implement online learning when the need arises. This brief provides a guide for education leaders and policymakers building a path to sustainable and quality virtual learning.
September 2021 | Recovery for US Students in 2021 Report
What Schools and Districts Can Do to Make Up for Lost Learning Time
The cumulative effects of the pandemic will likely reverberate for decades for an entire generation of students—affecting their educational achievement, lifetime earnings, health outcomes, and political participation.
And, as new COVID-19 variants threaten to throw a third consecutive school year off course, it is now clear the disruptions aren’t over. This moment demands new, bold leadership from all of us who touch the lives of students—from civic leaders to policymakers to system leaders to educators.
We must keep students at the center of all decision-making, and increase the transparency with which decisions are made this year. We must have an honest debate about what works and what must change. And we must fiercely commit to reimagining a future for this generation of students that is brighter than the data currently predict.
JULY 2021 | A ROADMAP TO KICK-START RECOVERY IN 2021
Six Principles for Summer Learning and Beyond
The pandemic has created novel and disparate learning conditions for students, fatigued educators, and stress-tested district systems. We know that students will return to school buildings this fall with learning losses and social-emotional and mental health needs that extend beyond traditional years. We also know some students have flourished and are entering at new levels of readiness to expand learning. The infusion of federal stimulus funds gives districts an opportunity to rethink what summer learning can and should look like, to connect it to long- term planning and goals, and to re-engage and rebuild relationships with students and families. Summer school should look and feel different—our students, families, and communities need new and different supports and partnerships. As schools prepare for a fuller return to in-person schooling this fall, this summer signals to us what districts prioritize, how nimbly they can evolve, and how they might approach the next several years of recovery and reinvention.