Research Digest — January 2022

A monthly digest for state education agency staff, highlighting research and resources supporting state priorities.

Supporting Struggling Readers

Educators and experts have identified strategies to help older students who struggle with reading, but the availability of these supports—and the knowledge and ability of educators to use them—remains uneven. A new report from Education Week highlights how to use available tools effectively and ensure equitable access to them.

50-State Comparison: States’ School Accountability Systems

The Education Commission of the States released a resource comparing state accountability systems using information in state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans, current statutes and regulations, and other state education agency resources. This resource also highlights how states are implementing ESSA requirements, noting that many states’ current policies do not align with their ESSA plans.

2022: Staying in School In-Person

The U.S. Department of Education released guidance on keeping schools open for in-person learning. The document discusses four strategies to keep students and staff safe and healthy for in-person learning: help students get vaccinated, implement test-to-stay and provide screening, collaborate with local health departments, and monitor community spread.

COVID-Relief Spending

FutureED released an analysis of the COVID-relief spending plans of nearly 2,100 school districts and charter school organizations in 48 states serving roughly 40 percent of the nation’s public-school students. The analysis identifies national trends and patterns in the four U.S. Census Bureau regions. The trends that emerged include staffing, extended learning time, tutoring and assessments, climate systems, mental health, and remote learning.

FAQ: Impact of COVID-19 on 2021–22 Accountability Systems Required Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

The U.S. Department of Education released a document that is intended to support state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and schools as they implement accountability and school improvement requirements under section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act using data from the 2021–22 school year. This document is posted for public review and comment through January 16, 2022.

Spiking Demand, Growing Barriers: The Trends Shaping After-School and Summer Learning in Rural Communities

The Afterschool Alliance released a report highlighting current after-school and summer program experiences for children and families in rural communities, using data from the most recent America After3PM study. The report investigates whether the after-school and summer landscape in rural communities has changed over time, compares rural parents’ perceptions of after-school programs now and then, and discusses what lessons can be drawn from the findings to help increase access to these programs in rural communities.

State of the States 2021: State Reporting of Teacher Supply and Demand Data

The National Council on Teacher Quality released a report reviewing states' teacher policies. The authors examine the essential role of state education agencies in collecting and reporting information about their own teacher labor markets in the areas of teacher shortages and surpluses, teacher retention and mobility, and equitable distribution of the teacher workforce.

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