Digital Instructional Materials: What Are Teachers Using and What Barriers Exist?

Digital Instructional Materials: What Are Teachers Using and What Barriers Exist? RAND Corporation. Katie Tosh et al. April 16, 2020.

This Data Note adds new insights from English language arts (ELA), math, and science teachers on their use of digital materials. Drawing on data from the spring 2019 American Instructional Resources Survey, researchers share the digital materials that ELA, math, and science teachers across the United States reported using regularly for instruction during the 2018–2019 school year. In addition to identifying the most commonly used digital instructional materials, researchers examine how teachers’ use of these materials compares with their use of comprehensive curriculum materials, as well as teacher-reported barriers to digital material use. Finally, researchers explore several hypotheses regarding factors that might influence digital material use. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages].

8 Charts on Internet Use around the World As Countries Grapple with COVID-19

8 Charts on Internet Use around the World As Countries Grapple with COVID-19. Pew Research Center. Shannon Schumacher and Nicholas Kent. April 2, 2020

People in the United States and around the world are turning to the internet to do their work and stay connected with others as the COVID-19 outbreak forces people to stay home and away from the office and crowds. A median of 77% across 34 countries use the internet at least occasionally or own an internet-enabled smartphone, according to a spring 2019 Pew Research Center survey. But there are stark digital divides. Younger people, those with higher incomes and those in wealthier countries are more likely to be digital technology users. Many people surveyed also use social media, but social media usage is not ubiquitous, even in economically advanced nations like Germany and Japan. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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How States Can Support Shared Prosperity in Cities through Quality Jobs

How States Can Support Shared Prosperity in Cities through Quality Jobs. Urban Institute. Donnie Charleston. March 26, 2020

New technologies, economic shifts, changing demographics and continued racial biases are widening income inequalities and racial disparities in cities across the United States. As a result, economic opportunities are increasingly concentrated among a small share of the population and in a limited number of places. To combat increased economic and geographic inequality within cities, local leaders are launching new efforts to enable women, people of color and other underrepresented groups to contribute to and benefit from economic growth. But local leaders cannot address these issues on their own. In an era of federal withdrawal from investments in communities and the social safety net, state and local leaders must work together to advance shared prosperity. In this series of briefs, we articulate why the issues of affordable housing, job growth and upskilling workers matter to statewide shared prosperity. In addition, we explore how state and local governments can forge more effective partnerships, and we profile states that are leading the way.
In this brief, the authors discuss how state and local governments can more effectively partner to grow quality jobs in cities. They acknowledge that the complexity of the challenges requires more integrated and complimentary workforce development and job growth strategies. In an accompanying brief, they address more directly the human capital development strategies that should work in tandem with job growth and economic development approaches examined in this brief. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages].

Data Flows, Online Privacy, and Trade Policy

Data Flows, Online Privacy, and Trade Policy. Congressional Research Service. Rachel F. Fefer. Updated March 26, 2020

“Cross-border data flows” refers to the movement or transfer of information between computer servers across national borders. Such data flows enable people to transmit information for online communication, track global supply chains, share research, provide cross-border services, and support technological innovation.
Ensuring open cross-border data flows has been an objective of Congress in recent trade agreements and in broader U.S. international trade policy. The free flow of personal data, however, has raised security and privacy concerns. U.S. trade policy has traditionally sought to balance the need for cross-border data flows, which often include personal data, with online privacy and security. Some stakeholders, including some Members of Congress, believe that U.S. policy should better protect personal data privacy and security, and have introduced legislation to set a national policy. Other policymakers and analysts are concerned about increasing foreign barriers to U.S. digital trade, including data flows.

[PDF format, 28 pages].

Polling Shows Signs of Public Trust in Institutions amid the Pandemic

Polling Shows Signs of Public Trust in Institutions amid the Pandemic. Pew Research Center. Cary Funk. Април 7, 2020.

The ongoing effort to fight COVID-19 wins broad support, even across partisan divides

In the face of unprecedented measures to limit social contact at work, at school and on the main streets of communities across the nation, Americans give themselves good marks, with 86% saying people in their households are “reacting about right.” Most also say their local school system is reacting about right (86%), and majorities say the same about their local (74%) or state (72%) government. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): An Overview

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): An Overview. Congressional Research Service. Kelsi Bracmort. Updated April 14, 2020

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires U.S. transportation fuel to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuel. The RFS—established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58; EPAct05) and expanded in 2007 by the Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140; EISA)—began with 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2006 and is scheduled to ascend to 36 billion gallons in 2022. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has statutory authority to determine the volume amounts fter 2022.
The total renewable fuel statutory target consists of both conventional biofuel and advanced biofuel. Since 2014, the total renewable fuel statutory target has not been met, with the advanced biofuel portion falling below the statutory target by a relatively large margin since 2015. Going forward, it appears unlikely that the United States will meet the total renewable fuel target as outlined in statute.

[PDF format, 17 pages].

Fighting Corruption for U.S. Economic and National Security Interests

Fighting Corruption for U.S. Economic and National Security Interests. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Daniel F. Runde, Christopher Metzger. April 13, 2020

Corruption plagues governments, economies, and societies around the world. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the amount of money lost to corruption globally is $2 trillion a year. This money could go a long way toward filling the financing gap for the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and preparing countries for global pandemics such as Covid-19. The United States should recapture its leadership on global anti-corruption efforts for a number of reasons, but most critically for economic ones. U.S. global competitors, such as China and Russia, offer an alternative development model that largely ignores issues of transparency, rule of law, and good governance. If all companies had to abide by the same anti-corruption legislation and there was more transparency in procurement processes, then U.S. companies would have a better chance of winning contracts. Economic growth in developing countries reduces unemployment, increases stability, and supports U.S. national security interests in the process as well. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 31 pages].

COVID-19 and School Closures: What Can Countries Learn from Past Emergencies?

COVID-19 and School Closures: What Can Countries Learn from Past Emergencies? Brookings Institution. Rebecca Winthrop. Tuesday, March 31, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, and across every state in the U.S., school systems are shutting their doors. To date, the education community has largely focused on the different strategies to continue schooling, including lively discussions on the role of education technology versus distribution of printed paper packets. But there has been relatively little discussion about how to take advantage of the know-how and good practice developed from years of work in the humanitarian and global development sectors. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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School Closures, Government Responses, and Learning Inequality around the World during COVID-19

School Closures, Government Responses, and Learning Inequality around the World during COVID-19. Brookings Institution. Emiliana Vegas. April 14, 2020

According to UNESCO, as of April 14, 188 countries around the world have closed schools nationwide, affecting over 1.5 billion learners and representing more than 91 percent of total enrolled learners. The world has never experienced such a dramatic impact on human capital investment, and the consequences of COVID-19 on economic, social, and political indicators are unknown but certainly will be dramatic.
Although a majority of governments are making substantial efforts to ensure continuing education opportunities, their capacity for quality learning—especially for the most disadvantaged populations—varies enormously. In this brief, the author uses data recently collected by the Center for Global Development and combine it with the World Bank’s classification method for countries’ income levels and regions of the world to take stock of the official education system responses to COVID-19 around the world and to analyze how these responses may affect gaps in student learning across regions, countries of various income levels, and countries with different student performance levels as measured by international assessments. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). World Resources Institute. Massimiliano Riva et al. March 2020

How countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are implemented and improved upon over time will determine whether the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement is achieved.
Each country will prepare for and implement its NDC in different ways, based on the nature of its NDC, how the NDC was first developed, and its national circumstances. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 116 pages].