Research Digest — June 2021

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

CASEL's SEL Program Guide

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) released a guide showcasing well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for pre-kindergarten through high school and the impact they have on student and/or teacher outcomes. The guide has four goals:

  • Provide a systematic framework for evaluating the quality of classroom-based SEL programs
  • Apply this framework to rate and identify well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs with potential for broad dissemination to schools
  • Share best-practice guidelines for district and school teams on how to select and implement SEL programs
  • Recommend future priorities to advance SEL research, practice, and policy

Academies for Learning Advancement: Research and Practitioner Perspectives

The National Comprehensive Center released an online toolkit on advancement academies. These short-term “vacation” academies are a learning recovery option that have shown positive literacy and mathematics results in several sites. The toolkit contains a collection of short videos and other materials that explain the features of successful academies, report on research about the impact of academies on student achievement, and describe ways to adapt academies to address interrupted learning caused by the pandemic.

Learning Acceleration for All: Planning for the Next Three to Five Years

TNTP released a guide designed to help system leaders create a plan for students and schools over the next several years, starting with critical decisions this summer. The authors offer recommendations not just on goals and instructional materials, but also on the authentic community engagement, change management, and organizational development that are critical to long-term success. They also highlight the most effective ways leaders can use one-time federal resources from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) to support their learning acceleration plans—and avoid spending resources on initiatives that are less likely to improve experiences for students.

The 2019 National Indian Education Study

The National Center for Education Statistics released a report describing the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in grades 4 and 8 in the United States. The report provides: An in-depth look at findings from student, teacher, and school administrator survey questions focused on AI/AN culture and language.

  • Information about AI/AN student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and mathematics assessments
  • An examination of contextual factors that are associated with higher- and lower-performing AI/AN students
  • An exploration of students’ AI/AN cultural knowledge, interest in reading about cultures (both their own and others), engagement at school, and perceptions about effort in school

Design Principles for Schools: Putting the Science of Learning and Development Into Action

The Learning Policy Institute and Turnaround for Children released a guide that outlines how schools can use the science of learning and development to reshape systems, structures, and practices to improve student outcomes. Science provides a clear path forward: students’ knowledge, skills, and well-being can be significantly influenced and improved by learning environments that use whole-child design.

Time for a Game-Changing Summer With Opportunity and Growth for All of America’s Youth

Afterschool Alliance released a report highlighting how children and youth spent their summers before and during the pandemic. The report is based on responses from more than 29,500 U.S. families and builds on household surveys conducted in 2004, 2009, and 2014. It includes national-level findings from smaller surveys of parents and program providers conducted in summer and fall 2020 and spring 2021.

Analyzing Teacher Mobility and Retention: Guidance and Considerations Report 1

REL Northeast & Islands released a guide for state and local education agency policymakers and their analysts who are interested in studying teacher mobility and retention. The report provides the foundational information needed to answer policy-relevant research questions related to teacher mobility and retention and presents the decision points and steps necessary for conducting basic mobility and retention analyses.

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