What's happening: Nearly every sector is dealing with a pandemic-era labor shortage, but the problem is especially acute in public education.
"Teacher salaries had fallen in the few years even before the pandemic, reducing the supply of teachers," says Susanna Loeb, an education economist and director of Brown University's Annenberg Institute. "So the shortage of teachers may actually be greater than the shortage in other areas, which are more pandemic related."
Teachers strikes often generate headlines where they’re taking place, but their influence can extend beyond local communities and affect political discourse in surprising ways, according to a new study by Brown University’s Melissa Arnold Lyon and Matthew A. Kraft. The researchers looked at 550 local strikes in the past few years, some of them part of the coordinated “Red for Ed” work stoppages in 2018, and the political advertisements that followed them. FutureEd associate director Phyllis Jordan spoke with Lyon about the new research.
| Brown University Department of Education
Master’s student Isabella Arreola was named the 2021 Ruth J. Simmons Urban Education Policy Scholar, which includes a full-tuition award and recognizes the UEP graduate student who most epitomizes the former Brown University president’s commitment to educational equity and social justice. The Annenberg Institute’s Board of Overseers established the Ruth J. Simmons Urban Education Policy Scholarship as a permanent annual award in 2012.
| The Brown Daily Herald
Jonathan Collins, assistant professor of international and public affairs and education, noted the plan’s emphasis on closing the digital divide — which refers to the disparity in student access to technology between school districts — and updating Rhode Island’s historically poorly maintained school buildings.
“What you see here is investments in capital projects that can be one-time purchases that can have long-term impacts,” Collins said.
Nate Schwartz, associate professor of practice at the Annenberg Institute, said that the plan’s recommendations regarding education policy feel “mostly right at the high level.” Schwartz praised how the plan lays out short-term actions based on recovering from the pandemic, such as an increased focus on mental health services and prioritization of student engagement.
| Education Week
Teacher strikes have a profound and often unrecognized role in national politics, a new working paper suggests: They put education front and center in Congressional campaigns and advertisements.
Holding a strike more than doubles the likelihood that a Congressional candidate will air an education ad in the area where the labor action occurred, write the authors of the paper, which has not yet been peer reviewed.
When it comes to addressing learning loss, research shows that tutoring and individualized support hold promise for several reasons. First, they offer students an opportunity to connect with a caring adult in school.
"A student who likely hasn't been feeling engaged by many aspects of school is developing a relationship with someone who knows them, who sees them and who checks on them regularly," explained Nate Schwartz, a professor of practice at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. "The second thing that's happening is the student is working in an area where they have previously felt failure, often year after year after year, and is now being given the tools to succeed."
| Results for America
For our nation’s more than 3 million teachers, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a host of new challenges and stresses that have led to increased burnout and demoralization.
That’s why Results for America and the Annenberg Institute at Brown University are releasing a new brief highlighting evidence-based strategies to help promote teacher well-being.
- | The 74
| National Student Support Acceleratorhe National Student Support Accelerator is excited to share our new tool that makes it easier for tutoring programs to improve their quality and for districts selecting tutoring providers to better understand their provider options.