Across the U.S. the school year is in full swing, with educators facing daily decisions that shape students’ opportunities to learn and thrive.
At EdResearch, our goal is to provide educators with the specific, practical advice – grounded in evidence – that they need to best support their students. We choose the topics of our briefs based on what educators tell us they need most, whether it’s guidance on High-Dosage Tutoring, Summer Learning or K-4 Literacy. We seek out the expertise of researchers to inform evidence-based practice in schools, and the wisdom of educators to build practice-based evidence.
We recently partnered with the Rennie Center to help five Massachusetts districts use our briefs to understand whether their existing programs and investments are aligned with evidence, and where that alignment can be strengthened. Our district partners often remind us that evidence not only shapes which strategies they pursue, but how they implement them and where they target their efforts.
With our partners at Rennie, we captured five key takeaways that can help district and school leaders across the country use evidence to improve students’ opportunities and outcomes:
- Narrow your focus: Prioritize high-leverage initiatives and connect them to each other.
- Prioritize belonging and connection: Positive relationships make a difference in student learning.
- Provide robust support for curriculum implementation: High-quality instructional materials have the greatest impact when combined with ongoing professional learning.
- Rethink traditional approaches to tutoring: Aligning tutoring programs with evidence can help schools maximize the power of tutoring.
- Focus on a limited set of actionable data: Prioritizing the use of high-leverage data points and ensuring sufficient data training can help combat against data overwhelm.
We know that the needs students have right now are great; yet, we have hope for the year ahead. The education community has the knowledge, resources and passion to not only recover from the pandemic, but build a stronger and more equitable education system for the future – especially when they have support to both use and build evidence.
In the coming months, we look forward to sharing more with you about the ways in which EdResearch is working with schools and districts to rise to this challenge. You can expect new and updated EdResearch briefs, as well as new, practical tools designed to help you apply research to your priorities for students, like the EdResearch summer learning toolkit. Please let us know what topics you would like to see added in the future!
The EdResearch for Recovery Team