Education Executive Briefs

As students return to a third year of disrupted learning, the COVID Collaborative and CRPE, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Allstate Foundation are working together to address unfinished learning and restoring student well-being.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Related Initiatives

American Democracy and Health Security

May 15, 2024

On June 5, the American Democracy and Health Security Initiative, a joint effort of COVID Collaborative, the Brown University School of Public Health Pandemic Center, and the CSIS Bipartisan Alliance for Global Health Security, will publish its findings on what actionable steps are needed to advance our health security for the future. The event will feature leaders from Governors, advisors, and health leaders to community organizations, educators, businesses, and crisis managers.

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COVID Treatment Quick Start Consortium

Sep 07, 2022

COVID Collaborative and partners launched on September 7, 2022, the COVID Treatment Quick Start Consortium to bring new, highly effective COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments to high-risk populations in 10 low- and middle-income countries. Quick Start includes COVID Collaborative, Duke University, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Americares as implementing partners, with support from the Open Society Foundations, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Pfizer.

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Children's Collaborative for Healing and Support

Dec 09, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has left hundreds of thousands of children in the United States without parents or other in-home caregivers. COVID Collaborative is working to mobilize government, non-profits, and the private sector to step up and help provide these young people with the supports they need to navigate their grief at this challenging time.

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Rapid Action Consortium

Dec 06, 2021

In addition to being a global health crisis and an economic crisis, COVID-19 is fundamentally an information problem of a size and scale the world has never seen before. As with any complex, global information problem, the solution will require intelligent use of data and technology, and the ability for the right parties to come together to create ecosystems of impact.

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Rural and Conservative Engagement Effort

Oct 19, 2021

As the pandemic continues to have an outsized impact in rural areas, COVID Collaborative is leading a vaccination education campaign to reach the tens of millions of Americans in these communities who are still questioning whether or not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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COVID Global Accountability Platform

Oct 19, 2021

COVID Collaborative and Duke University have launched the COVID Global Accountability Platform (COVID GAP). Collaborating with The Rockefeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and multiple supporters and data sources, COVID GAP is an independent, external accountability hub to track global progress on targets and commitments, including from the Global COVID-19 Summit, and to generate insights and recommendations to translate commitments and targets into life-saving action.

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Framework for Global Action

Sep 10, 2021

COVID Collaborative, Center for Global Development, three units of Duke University, and the Pandemic Action Network have released a Framework For a Global Action Plan for COVID-19 Response to encourage World Leaders to take the steps needed to end the pandemic. The seven-point framework was endorsed by almost 40 leading organizations and global health experts.

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Global Summit to End COVID-19

Sep 01, 2021

A coalition of 80 global leaders and over 25 organizations across corporate, philanthropic, civil society, advocacy, academic, and health sectors have called on world leaders attending the UN General Assembly to convene a global summit to ignite an urgent global action plan to end the pandemic. The call to action was coordinated by the COVID Collaborative, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke Global Health Innovation Center, Duke Global Health Institute, and the Pandemic Action Network.

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#COVIDSafeZones: Sports

Aug 26, 2021

COVID Collaborative and Autonomy 5 Conferences are uniting to encourage team vaccinations, students and college sports communities to slow the spread of COVID. They have published an open letter, calling for #COVIDSafeZones on college game days, endorsed by public health experts and former officials from the past 5 presidential administrations. They have also put out a statement on #COVIDSafeZones and game day safety endorsed by the medical directors of the major college sports leagues.

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It's Up to You Vaccine Education Campaign

Aug 18, 2021

The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have partnered to educate the American public and build confidence around the COVID-19 vaccines, as part of one of the largest public health education campaigns in history.

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#COVIDSafeZones: Campuses

Aug 17, 2021

COVID Collaborative has mobilized dozens of public health and science experts and former officials from the Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administrations to provide leaders of Institutions of Higher Education with clear and actionable measures they can adopt to keep their students, faculty, and communities safe. We invite other IHE leaders to join this effort to beat the pandemic and restore our national vitality and way of life.

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US Emergency Plan for Global COVID-19 Relief

Aug 03, 2021

COVID Collaborative, Center for Global Development, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Duke - Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Global Health Innovation Center, and renowned global health experts, have come together to issue an open letter and corresponding report urging US leadership to address global vaccine inequity.

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#COVIDSafeZones: Workplaces

Aug 03, 2021

COVID Collaborative has mobilized dozens of public health and science experts and former officials from the Biden, Trump, Obama, and Bush Administrations to provide business leaders with clear and actionable measures they can adopt to keep their workers, customers, and communities safe. We invite other private sector leaders to join this effort to beat the pandemic and restore our national vitality and way of life.

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Vaccine Hesitancy Visualization

Jun 24, 2021

COVID Collaborative and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine have launched a new data visualization that shows data on people’s openness to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by zip code and county for the entire United States.

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US Leadership and Global Vaccine Inequity

Jun 07, 2021

COVID Collaborative, Center for Global Development, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Duke - Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke Global Health Institute, and Duke Global Health Innovation Center have come together to call for increased US leadership in addressing global vaccine inequity. As part of this work, we have issued open letters to G7 leaders and the Biden administration and Congress urging immediate action.

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Vaccination and the US Military

May 20, 2021

COVID Collaborative and Blue Star Families have teamed up to support servicemembers and their families in getting the information needed to build confidence and increase vaccine uptake. On May 20, the groups released a survey on the current state of mililtary vaccination that suggests that the hardest work in protecting military families lies ahead.

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Infection Prevention and Control in Schools

Apr 28, 2021

COVID Collaborative, Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center, Brown School of Public Health, and New America launched a task force to support schools and districts in implementing CDC guidance and getting students and staff safely back for in-person learning.

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PSAs from the Former Presidents and First Ladies of the United States

Mar 11, 2021

The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative announced new PSAs as part of their COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative’s “It’s Up To You” campaign featuring former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and former First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter.

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Responding to the 2020 Winter COVID-19 Surge: What Governors Can Do

Dec 21, 2020

Recommendations for Governors to support them in taking targeted action to prevent unchecked transmission, protect hospitals, and flatten the curve.

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A Call To Action to Defeat COVID-19 and Promote National Recovery and Renewal

Dec 10, 2020

Bipartisan Assembly of Governors Support Call to Action to Defeat COVID-19, issued by the COVID Collaborative. Recommendations Call for Concerted, Cross-State Action.

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