Mapping Student Needs during COVID-19

Mapping Student Needs during COVID-19. Urban Institute. Kristin Blagg et al. April 29, 2020

Staff, teachers, and students experienced rapid change as school buildings closed in March 2020 because of the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. In this brief, we use American Community Survey (ACS) data to highlight different types of challenges to remote learning and point to district and educator strategies that might mitigate harm to students as districts navigate long-term school closures. Although many families will face unique circumstances and obstacles, we focus on six factors in addition to poverty: linguistic isolation, child disability status, parents in vulnerable economic sectors, single parents, crowded conditions, and lack of computer or broadband access. We describe the difficulties each circumstance presents and potential solutions for school districts. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages].

Getting Support for Summer Learning: How Federal, State, City, and District Policies Affect Summer Learning Programs

Getting Support for Summer Learning: How Federal, State, City, and District Policies Affect Summer Learning Programs. RAND Corporation. Catherine H. Augustine, Lindsey E. Thompson. April 14, 2020.

Summer programs offered by school districts can provide academic support and enrichment opportunities to students from low-income families who often lose ground over the summer to their peers from higher-income families. In 2011, The Wallace Foundation launched the National Summer Learning Project (NSLP) to expand summer program opportunities for students in urban districts.
Through the NSLP, The Wallace Foundation provided support to the participating public school districts and their community partners in Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Duval County, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Rochester, New York. RAND researchers assessed the effectiveness of these districts’ voluntary, district-led summer learning programs and found near-term academic benefits in mathematics for all students and benefits in reading and social-emotional domains for students with ample program attendance. These academic benefits also persisted through their school year. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 88 pages].

State Policies to Promote Shared Prosperity in Cities

State Policies to Promote Shared Prosperity in Cities. Brookings Institution. Solomon Greene et al. March 26, 2020

This framing paper connects three briefs in the State Policies to Promote Shared Prosperity in Cities series created by the Shared Prosperity Partnership. For additional insights, read the full briefs: How States Can Support Shared Prosperity by Promoting Human Capital Development; How States Can Support Shared Prosperity by Promoting Quality Jobs; and How States Can Support Shared Prosperity by Promoting Affordable Rental Housing. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format].

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].

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].

[HTML format, various paging].

A Roadmap for Growing Good Jobs: Background on Data and Methodology

A Roadmap for Growing Good Jobs: Background on Data and Methodology. Brookings Institution. Marcela Escobari and Ian Seyal. February 25, 2020

This visualization, A Roadmap for Growing Good Jobs, intends to show that tailored data can help cities drive dynamic growth that also creates opportunity for the local workforce. The methods underlying our analysis are designed to accommodate a wide range of regional needs and goals. However, these insights and strategies are not meant to be prescriptive. Rather, they present a set of options to inform regional development based on different priorities and tailored to the strengths of each city. Local contexts and priorities are crucial to meaningful interpretations of the data. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format].

Employment Creation Potential, Labor Skills Requirements, and Skill Gaps for Young People: A Methodological Framework

Employment Creation Potential, Labor Skills Requirements, and Skill Gaps for Young People: A Methodological Framework. Brookings Institution. Haroon Bhorat et al. March 4, 2020

This paper presents a methodological framework for assessing the extent to which youth unemployment can be addressed through employment creation in industries without smokestacks in individual countries, as well as the skill gaps in the youth population that need to be addressed for this potential to be reached. There are two components to the method: (i) estimating skill demand, and (ii) identifying skill gaps in the target youth population. On the labor demand side, the framework seeks to identify the skills required for a sector to reach its employment potential. On the supply side, the methodology ultimately aims to answer the question: Do the skills to meet the demand in the sector exist in the population; and if not, where are the gaps? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages].

Expanding and Improving Work-Based Learning in Community Colleges: Better Data and Measurement to Realize Goals for Students and Employers

Expanding and Improving Work-Based Learning in Community Colleges: Better Data and Measurement to Realize Goals for Students and Employers. Urban Institute. Shayne Spaulding, Ian Hecker, Emily Bramhall. March 3, 2020.

Work-based learning (WBL) as an important strategy for helping students prepare for and access good jobs. Across the country and at all levels of government, efforts are underway to expand and diversify WBL. Because they enroll diverse student bodies and providing career-focused education and training, community colleges are poised to play a role in these efforts. This brief explores the current state of knowledge about WBL in community college contexts and how it is measured. We find that 1) WBL models and definitions vary across community colleges; 2) the federal government, states and community colleges need to align systems of measurement to assess the effectiveness of WBL expansion efforts; and 3) an institutional commitment to WBL is vital to successful implementation and measurement. We recommend increased funding and common definitions of WBL at both state and federal levels and the integration of WBL elements into existing data platforms. We further recommend that community colleges incorporate WBL elements into their own data systems, and commit institutionally to WBL. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 46 pages].

Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative

Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative. RAND Corporation. William R. Johnston et al. January 28, 2020.

With the launch of the New York City Community Schools Initiative (NYC-CS) in 2014, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has increased its focus on the implementation of a holistic strategy of education reform to address the social consequences of poverty as a means to improving student outcomes. NYC-CS is a strategy to organize resources in schools and share leadership among stakeholders so that academics, health and wellness, youth development, and family engagement are integrated into the fabric of each school. New York City is implementing this strategy at a scale unmatched nationally.
In this study, the authors assessed the impact of the NYC-CS through the 2017–2018 school year. The authors assessed the effects along seven outcome domains and explored the extent to which there is heterogeneity in programmatic impact based on student- and school-level characteristics. The authors leveraged innovative quasi-experimental methodology to determine whether students in the community schools are performing better than they would be had their schools not been designated as Community Schools.
The findings of this report will contribute to the emerging evidence base on the efficacy of the community school strategy and will be useful for other school district– and state-level policymakers interested in developing or refining similar interventions that support students’ and communities’ academic, social, and emotional well-being. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 105 pages].