Understanding, Measuring, and Addressing Student Learning Needs During COVID-19 Recovery

Students re-entering the classroom following the COVID-19 crisis will likely experience severe learning loss and emotional challenges arising from their time out of school. Schools will need to develop tools for assessing students’ varied needs along with the resources, clear guidance, and flexibility to address them. This commentary is modified from testimony delivered to the California Assembly Budget Committee on April 28, 2020.

Moving Forward from COVID-19

COVID-19 and its concomitant school closures are affecting students in many ways; there is good reason to expect the pandemic will adversely impact educational equity. New PACE research uses data from the 2020 PACE/USC Rossier annual voter poll to report on CA voter attitudes towards educational equity policy initiatives. A majority of voters supported a focus on ending racial inequality in educational outcomes and specific initiatives to do so, suggesting that voters may also support a targeted approach to mitigating the pandemic’s adverse effects on CA students who have been hardest hit.

As Funding for Schools Plummets, California Leaders Face a Fiscal Reckoning

The coming months and years will be painful for the California economy in general and especially for school funding, which is overly dependent on volatile state tax revenues. California leaders should respond to this pandemic-induced fiscal crisis as a kickstart to finally reimagine and fully fund our schools—not just for this challenging moment but also for the future.

Why Funding California Schools Is Crucial to the State's COVID-19 Recovery

In this podcast (transcribed) for the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), Heather Hough highlights research and perspectives related to the fundamental importance of public education, school funding levels and policies, and proactive approaches that should be on the table as California plans its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

UC Regents Should Consider All Evidence and Options in Decision on Admissions Policy

As the UC Board of Regents approaches an important decision on the use of SAT/ACT in admissions, a task force report meant to inform has instead mischaracterized key issues. This commentary and its accompanying analyses seek to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the options and urge the Regents to consider wider perspectives. Our goal is to support an evidence-based and responsible decision.

In Pandemic’s Wake, California Needs to Rethink System of Support for Schools

When the coronavirus emergency abates, what happens to California’s disrupted education system and how might policymakers respond now? The double blow of fewer resources and greater needs promises a perfect storm for education in California after the pandemic. When the pandemic has run its course, all of California’s schools and districts will need help to get back on their feet, and the current system of support will need to be rethought in order to respond to new needs.

Supporting Online Learning in a Time of Pandemic

Karen Symms Gallagher

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed almost all school systems in the U.S. online with little or no preparation. To be responsive in this time, USC Rossier faculty members have worked rapidly to prepare a report with immediately useful resources and concrete advice. Bringing together the expertise of faculty who have decades of experience teaching in virtual learning environments, as well as deep knowledge of teacher education pedagogy and educational psychology, this report provides recommendations that can serve as a practical guide for all educators during this difficult and complex time.

Our Children’s Education Should be a Priority as California Recovers from Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed California and the nation into uncharted waters, especially with the impact on our schools. With the economy in decline and unemployment on the rise, school funding is likely to dip, triggering cuts across the system. This financial impact will come when our schools need more money, not less, to serve our state’s children. As we look toward recovery, Californians should make the kind of significant investments in our public schools that reflect their true importance to our students, families and future.

Current Circumstances Accentuate the Need to Educate the Whole Child

Roman Stearns

This moment of disruption is an opportunity to stop and ask how best to educate the whole child. There are important lessons to be learned from the Scaling Student Success community, in which school districts have engaged community stakeholders to create a Graduate Profile – a succinct, one-page document defining the skills, competencies, and mindsets necessary for future success in college, career, and civic engagement.

Distance Learning Playbook for California School Districts

Sam Olivieri

At this time of unprecedented challenge, districts have to both manage a rapid response to the current school closures and also prepare for the possibility of supporting students remotely for longer periods ahead, a process for which there is no roadmap. Learning Apart, Staying Connected: A Distance Learning Playbook was created for California school districts to support the development and roll-out of distance learning plans across the state.