Giving Compass’ Take:
• In an article for Rand, Doug Irving discusses equitable approaches for minimizing the COVID slide in education when students finally return to school.
• What is the COVID slide and how does it disproportionately impact marginalized students? How can you help the education system recover from the shutdown with an enhanced focus on equity?
More than 50 million schoolchildren in the United States alone have spent the past several months not sitting in class, not studying with friends, not working through math problems with a teacher by their side. Educators are bracing for a “COVID slide” in performance when—or if—students return to school in the fall.
Their advice to parents and school leaders: Some kids are in danger of getting left behind; they’re the ones who can least afford it; and it will take more than a standard school year to help them catch up.
More recent studies have confirmed that academic progress slows during the summer for all children. But it slows more for lower-income students. They tend to learn less during the summer than their higher-income classmates.
“The story when schools reopen is really going to be one of inequity in the opportunities that students had during the long break and in how far disadvantaged students have fallen behind,” senior policy researcher Catherine Augustine said. “There’s a lot of reason for concern. We see negative outcomes after just three months—what are we going to see after six?”
The most effective programs, RAND’s study suggests, will recruit top teachers, with grade-level experience, and equip them with rigorous academic curriculums. They will operate for five or six weeks of the summer, with three or four hours of academics every day, as well as time for enrichment activities.
The time is now to start thinking about what those students will need and how to provide it—not just this summer, but next. The most successful programs in RAND’s study spent months recruiting teachers and planning classes. That meant the commitments were made, the funding established, almost from the first fall bell of the new school year.
Read the full article about the COVID slide by Doug Irving at RAND Corporation.
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