Equitable transitions during pandemic disruptions

This is a series of eight Policy Briefs, commissioned by Education Commission of the States and authored in part external organizations, that explore various facets of the transition from secondary to postsecondary education, which are now complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The series pays special attention to the student populations already underserved in our nation’s education system, including Black, Latinx and Native American students and students from low-income families or high-poverty schools. Each brief provides actionable steps and examples for state policymakers to consider as they address the transition from high school to college and the workforce. These briefs build upon “A State Policymaker’s Guide to Equitable Transitions in the COVID-19 Era.”

Education groups urge CDC to prioritize teachers, school staff for coronavirus vaccine

AN ALLIANCE OF LABOR organizations and trade groups representing teachers, principals and support staff is pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prioritize access to a coronavirus vaccine for the country’s 5 million public school employees as the first approved immunizations hit the market in the U.S. With the majority of the country’s schools closed for in-person learning or offering limited in-person instruction through a hybrid model – and as the number of districts forced to go all virtual climbs amid an uncontrollable surge in coronavirus infections – the heads of the powerful education groups are offering a compelling argument: If you want to open schools, vaccinate us first.

State workforce development policies

This Policy Snapshot captures state legislative activity in 2020 concerning workforce development. Drawing on 308 bills introduced in 41 states and the District of Columbia, it identifies four trends in legislation: data and information; financial incentives; governance and planning; and education, work experience and credentialing.

Report examines competencies needed to succeed in workforce

A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) pinpoints the five most in-demand competencies across the labor market. Those work skills include communication, teamwork, sales, customer service, leadership, problem-solving and complex thinking, all of which can yield higher earnings. The intensity in which workers use these competencies, along with their education level, can also affect their earnings, according to the report titled “Workplace Basics: The Competencies Employers Want.”

The impact of Florida’s developmental education reform on introductory college-level course completion

Florida’s Senate Bill 1720 allowed many students to bypass developmental education and enroll directly in introductory college-level courses. We use an interrupted time series design to introductory college-level courses enrollment and passing rates in English and math for three cohorts of college students prereform and three cohorts postreform. Based on a cohort-by-cohort comparative analysis, we find that cohorts after the reform are more likely to enroll and pass introductory college-level courses in their 1st year of college, indicating that the reform may help to accelerate student success in college. Further, we find that Black and Hispanic students experience even greater gains in passing rates than White students, effectively narrowing the racial/ethnic achievement gap.

Principal Professional Development in U.S. Public Schools in 2017-18

This Statistics in Brief examines professional development topics and activities reported by public school principals.

Restart and recovery – Considerations for teaching and learning: PreK to 3rd grade

This resource guide is intended for state and school system leaders to use as they implement reopening plans for young students during the 2020-21 school year. The changing circumstances of the pandemic call for shifts in teaching modes– from all in-person, to all remote learning, or a hybrid of the two. This document offers strategies and age-specific recommendations pertaining to young learners, including preschoolers, to inform decision-making processes as districts transition to different modes of teaching. The guidance is organized into three categories: 1) Systems Conditions, 2) Well-Being and Connections, and 3) Early Learning and Academics for Pre-K–3rd grade.

What principals have learned From COVID-19’s ‘stress test’

When schools and districts shut down abruptly in the spring, principals jumped into action. They knocked on doors to find students, packed meals for families, scrambled to set up remote learning programs, and, in some cases, even provided money to families struggling to make ends meet. Their experiences in those early chaotic days as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country, and their preparation for the new school year, are captured in a series of five recently published briefs by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Leading in crisis is a series of briefs that document school and district experiences following school closures due to COVID-19.

The schools ran the gamut from America’s urban hubs like New York City (ground zero for the original COVID-19 outbreak), Minneapolis (both before and after the death of George Floyd), Denver, and San Diego; to the vast suburban swaths of South Florida, Atlanta, Houston, and southern California; to small town and rural areas in including American Indian reservations in Montana and North Dakota, as well as rural areas of southeastern Tennessee, and upstate New York. The interviews were organized to examine the most pressing issues faced by school leaders; including their instructional responses; challenges for students, families, and teachers; district crisis management and policy guidance; the inequities exposed by the pandemic; and strategies for selfcare and attention to well-being of others. The briefs include analyses, summaries and recommendations for practitioners.