Jul 3, 2018
This Data Note provides a picture of students' learning experiences in kindergarten through grade 12 schools that have adopted a variety of operational models (e.g., fully in-person, hybrid, fully remote) during the 2020–2021 school year. Our findings provide evidence that students are on sharply different learning pathways depending on whether their schools have been mostly remote or mostly in-person for the majority of this school year.
The 2020–2021 school year has been like no other. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) schools across the United States have reduced in-person learning for students to a few days per week or have been physically closed for most of the school year. In this Data Note, researchers use surveys of teachers and principals to provide a picture of students' learning experiences in K–12 schools that have adopted a variety of operational models (e.g., fully in-person, hybrid, fully remote) during the 2020–2021 school year.
The findings consistently indicate that remote schooling was associated with fewer instructional opportunities and potentially poorer student outcomes compared with in-person schooling. These outcomes include less teacher-reported curriculum coverage, more teacher-reported student absenteeism, and lower principal-reported achievement in mathematics and English language arts (ELA). Nevertheless, teachers and principals who have been in remote settings this school year appear to be far more comfortable with the idea of providing remote instruction in some form, even after the pandemic recedes. Taken together, these findings suggest that the pandemic has set schools on diverging pathways depending on whether they were mostly remote or in person over the course of this school year.
Using these findings, the authors make several recommendations to policymakers, school and district leaders, and researchers to support K–12 teaching and learning over the next several years.