| News from Brown
Complementing the efforts of community-focused staff across the University, from the Annenberg Institute to the Swearer Center, the new community engagement specialist will seek opportunities for the Library to build on Brown’s support for K-12 education in Rhode Island’s diverse urban core and beyond. The specialist will find ways to enable young students to spend more time in University Library spaces and learn the research tools and techniques that position them for success in higher education. The Library will also work with school teachers to provide access to archival materials that could help pique students’ intellectual curiosity.
Minnesota is fortunate to be home to three of the four programs identified by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University as “Examples of effective tutoring models,” including Minnesota Reading Corps, Minnesota Math Corps, and Reading Partners (which is a current grantee of our foundation). These programs include multiday training, provide tutors with detailed curriculum and materials, and measure success through research-based assessments to ensure academic gains.
| Trending Globally: Politics & Policy
| Phi Delta KappanI am particularly enthusiastic about the efforts I’ve seen in a few states to establish networks of districts that work together with researchers to design studies and interpret findings. In Rhode Island, for example, a group of districts has come together with the Annenberg Institute at Brown University to pilot specific research-based pandemic recovery strategies in ways that improve individual district implementation and build researchers’ and practitioners’ knowledge about the strategy over time. Tennessee has launched a similar effort, the COVID Innovation Recovery Network, which is led by Tennessee SCORE and the Tennessee Education Research Alliance. This sort of embedded, networked approach is likely to be effective in building research literacy and promoting research use in districts as well as the state agency itself.
- | Gov Innovator podcast
A new policy brief examines the research evidence behind tutoring and what design principles for tutoring have shown to be important for boosting student achievement. The report is titled Accelerating Student Learning with High-Dosage Tutoring. It’s coauthored by Dr. Carly Robinson, Dr. Matthew Kraft and Dr. Susanna Loeb of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, as well as Dr. Beth Schueler of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia.
"This experience caused me to question my likely efficacy as an educator, both because of the structural inequalities that inhibit opportunity for so many children, but also because of what I felt to be grossly inadequate training both on the preparation and in-service side of teaching. I realized that there were broader dimensions on which I might be able to make a difference than as an educator in the classroom. I wanted to understand the ways in which we might be able to improve children’s access to a safe, high-quality educational experience, and in particular the ways in which we might be able to develop, recruit and retain good teachers for all students."
| Boston Globe
He pointed to a study released last month from the Center for the Study of Educators at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute that found Providence’s applicant pool is small compared to its peer districts and racial and ethnic diversity is low among jobseekers.
“When the teacher workforce is diverse, students of all races and ethnicities are more likely to graduate and pursue higher education,” Peters wrote. “Rates of out-of-school suspensions, which disproportionately impact students of color, decrease, while referrals of diverse students to gifted and talented programs increase.”
| News from Brown
“The pandemic closed a lot of schools and in the process created even greater inequalities in the access students have to good educational opportunities,” said Susanna Loeb, a professor of education at Brown who directs the Annenberg Institute. “Many students weren’t able to connect, both metaphorically — as in, they found virtual learning very difficult — and literally — as in, they didn’t have internet access or the right technology. We came in thinking: ‘What is out there that could really accelerate the learning of students in need so that they don’t lose months or years of progress?’”
| Center on the Study of Educators
Providence Public School District (PPSD) made significant progress last year in ensuring that most classrooms were fully staffed by the start of the 2020-21 school year (see the previous brief in this series for more detail). Despite more positions to fill and higher-than-usual retirement numbers during the pandemic, PPSD hired earlier across the spring of 2020 and significantly reduced vacancies by the start of the school year. The district also hired more teachers of color – a high-priority item given the large disparity between the racial/ethnic make-up of PPSD teachers and their students. Going forward, the district must contend with ongoing areas of challenge, particularly in filling open positions for English learner (EL), math, and science classrooms.
- | The 74
It isn’t just the research community buzzing about tutoring — it is gaining momentum in policy circles, too. Bob Slavin and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University have put forth a “Tutoring Marshall Plan,” based on a similar idea championed by Sen. Chris Coons that would provide funding for as many as 300,000 college students to be recruited, trained and coached as tutors. Susanna Loeb and colleagues at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University recently launched the National Student Support Accelerator, an ambitious initiative aimed at implementing research-aligned tutoring programs at scale. And Institute of Education Sciences Director Mark Schneider recently co-authored a piece highlighting the growing consensus that tutoring is “the most promising candidate for successful COVID catch-up.”