Pace of Learning Report

Introduction (excerpted from policy brief)

There is no dispute we are in unfamiliar waters when it comes to designing and implementing solutions to the pandemic’s impacts on learning. Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has demanded unprecedented efforts from educators, administrators and policy leaders. Nonetheless, learning losses were nearly universal and, in many communities, devastating. The results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) show regression to pre-NCLB years.i For the significant share of the student population already under-educated throughout their years of schooling and unprepared for post-secondary opportunities, these losses are crippling. Across the country, the academic needs of students are not well served by prevailing practices of K-12 schools, such as grade level assignments or the use of Carnegie Units to award course credit. 

The need for remedies and recovery applies to all levels of K-12 public education. As demonstrated below, the most widely used solutions will not diminish our students’ learning deficits. Most interventions in current use are dosage solutions that cannot adequately address the needs of students because they fail to factor in the pace at which students learn or how much the pace varies. This oversight distorts the potential value of the prevailing interventions that add teaching time at the margin. It also obscures better chances for success that focus on changing the rate at which students learn. 

This brief summarizes a larger meta-analysis of sixteen states.ii Here, we present empirically grounded estimates of the recovery horizon and provide new criteria for gauging the likely returns from policies and programs aimed at restoring student learning…DOWNLOAD FULL BRIEF BELOW