Jul 3, 2018
The emergence of COVID-19 in the United States in spring 2020 forced nearly all U.S. schools to transition rapidly to remote learning. However, a minority of U.S. public schools were prepared for a crisis on the level of COVID-19. Using responses to the American Educator Panels, RAND researchers investigate how schools' pre-pandemic planning translated into remote learning practices and principals' confidence in student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Principals detailed the infrastructure preparations that their schools had made before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Specifically, principals were asked whether, before the pandemic started, their schools had undertaken the following five practices:
Principals also noted whether their teachers graded students' work and whether they felt concerns about their schools' provision of equitable instruction during the pandemic. They also gave predictions of student achievement for various student subgroups in the coming school year.
Principals whose schools were more prepared were also more comfortable continuing to assess student learning with letter grades during the COVID-19 pandemic and had fewer concerns about providing equitable instruction. It will be important to continue to document schools' instructional practices to fully understand the conditions that are needed to ensure equitable access to high-quality instruction.