Policymakers and researchers are both investigating how different student subgroups were affected by the pandemic and looking ahead to what we will be able to learn and study about education and schools during COVID-19 and how parents feel about in-person schooling in the fall.
A newly launched project, supported by the Emergent Ventures program at the Mercatus Center, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Arnold Ventures, and Brown University, will help to collect available data from state education agencies in one place and in easily useable format. The repository will serve as a data warehouse for school- and district-level data on learning modes, enrollment in different modalities, and student and staff COVID-19 case rates.
A new survey by the RAND Corporation documents parents’ perspectives about the return to school in Fall 2021. According to May 2021 survey results, 84% of parents plan to send their children back to school in-person, but two-thirds of parents would like to see some retention of COVID-19 mitigation measures. Black and Hispanic parents are the most hesitant about an in-person return this fall.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights released a report on the disparate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, and particular groups of students. The report highlights that the pandemic has affected academic progress and widened existing academic achievement gaps. It also notes that barriers to adequate technology have disproportionately affected opportunities for students of color. English language learners and students with disabilities have faced particularly pronounced challenges in the shifts to remote learning, and students are experiencing worsening mental health and wellbeing, and heightened risk of online harassment and virtual abuse.