The American Educator Panels
Jul 3, 2018
The authors use 2020 and 2021 Learn Together Survey data to examine the challenges to standards-aligned instruction during COVID-19 reported by secondary math teachers and how often and why these teachers skipped standards-aligned math content. The authors show how differences in students' opportunity to learn grade-level math were affected by school and teacher characteristics (e.g., instructional mode, student demographics, teacher background).
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Although little is known about the quality of math instruction in different school settings during the 2020–2021 school year, evidence from national survey data collected throughout the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic suggests students' opportunity to learn (OTL) — defined in this report as time on instruction and content coverage — differed dramatically depending on whether students were learning in person or through an alternative mode of instruction.
This Data Note presents findings from the 2020 and 2021 Learn Together Surveys to highlight the challenges to standards-aligned instruction that secondary (grades 6 to 12) math teachers might have perceived one year into the pandemic, how frequently they skipped standards-aligned math content, and their reasons for doing so. These findings add to the growing body of evidence showing that students in fully remote and hybrid school settings had fewer opportunities to engage with grade-level math than students learning in person. Specifically, secondary math teachers who provided remote or hybrid instruction reported skipping standards-aligned content more frequently and were less likely to report being able to devote as much time as they would have liked to math instruction compared with their in-person counterparts. Nearly all secondary teachers who reported skipping standards-aligned content said they did so to review or reteach content from previous grade levels. These findings are particularly significant for students who attended schools that were less likely to offer in-person instruction during the 2020–2021 school year.
The research described in this report was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by RAND Education and Labor.
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