Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Maine Data Glimpse: Pandemic Shift to Remote Learning

June 17, 2020 – Older Youth, Young Children

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey is a unique source of timely data on how households are faring across the United States and in each state during the pandemic. Topics include household income and employment changes, mental health, food insufficiency, and the shift to remote learning. In this data glimpse, we use these new data to explore remote learning shifts in New England and the United States. #covid-19 #education

Brookings experts propose new formula to allocate federal education aid to states

June 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Experts at Brookings argue that future federal education aid should not be distributed through existing formulas (like the Title I formulas used to distribute CARES Act funding), which cause confusion around spending restrictions and reduce local flexibility. Instead, authors propose allocating aid based simply on child poverty rates, wherein states with higher rates would receive more aid per student. Currently, states with higher levels of child poverty tend to spend far less on education—one factor that reduces allocations under Title I. #covid-19 #education

Only 20 percent of K-12 school districts offered rigorous remote learning this spring

June 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) finds that only about one in five K-12 school districts offered “rigorous” remote learning this spring. A remote learning plan was defined as “rigorous” if it: used online platforms to deliver content; included synchronous learning (such as over Zoom); tracked attendance or participation; and included some amount of grading. Further, only 12 percent of school districts classified as high poverty had rigorous plans. Of course, this metric assumes at-home internet access and sufficient access to devices; AEI suggests that paper packets are not as effective as online platforms, particularly when there is little grading and/or accountability attached. #covid-19 #education

Children still need physical education in remote learning environments

June 3, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

One aspect of K-12 education that has often been left out during the transition to remote learning is physical education. A University of South Carolina researcher notes that without the structure of a school day, many children are typically less physically active over the summer. This summer, with many activities canceled, children may be even less active than usual, which has implications for longer-term health and child wellbeing. The author provides age-appropriate suggestions for parents, such as playing catch with elementary students to develop motor skills. #covid-19 #education

Research finds that promoting virtual charter schools is a poor policy response

June 2, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

In the context of pandemic-related virtual learning transitions, Brookings researchers summarized their recent publication comparing student achievement (as measured by test scores) in Indiana virtual charter schools and traditional in-person public schools. Using longitudinal education data, the authors found that attending a virtual charter school has clear and consistent negative effects on math and language scores. When they compared in-person charter schools to traditional public schools, there was no difference in achievement. While this work pre-dates the pandemic, the authors raise concerns about expanding virtual charter schools during the pandemic as a policy response, despite Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s pursuit of this strategy. #covid-19 #education

Remote learning best practices based on available evidence

May 28, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Regional Education Laboratory (REL Mid-Atlantic) recently published a review of existing research on remote learning strategies and promising practices that teachers can implement quickly. For example, studies have found poorer results for students in courses where there is little to no real-time interaction with their instructor. Teachers can create additional opportunities for synchronous interactions by holding virtual office hours or meeting with students by phone. Among the other helpful strategies identified were the importance of ongoing feedback and support from teachers, enhancing online learning with other resources, and tying academic material to the real world. #covid-19 #education

Education aid needed to avoid detrimental K-12 cuts

May 27, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Amid state and local revenue losses, there is concern that school funding will be reduced to balance budgets. Cuts to funding, teachers, staff, and even school days were made during the Great Recession and many school districts have still not recovered. The HEROES Act, which has been passed in the House and now faces the Senate, includes important education aid for states and localities. Researchers at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities identify several crucial measures in the HEROES Act, including direct and flexible funding to states, territories, tribes, and localities; direct funding to local school districts; and increasing the federal matching rate for Medicaid which will offer direct savings to states. #covid-19 #education

Funding for schools to support homeless students needed in coronavirus relief

May 26, 2020 – Older Youth

A new bipartisan proposal in front of the U.S. Senate proposes to allocate $1 billion through the McKinney-Vento Act to support additional services for homeless students. Funds would hire caseworkers to identify students and families in need, help meet basic needs, and support efforts to keep vulnerable students in schools. Housing advocates emphasize anticipated increases in the number of homeless students once eviction moratoriums expire and the pandemic recovery unevenly progresses. #covid-19 #education #housing

Policy strategies to support financially struggling Gen Z young adults

May 22, 2020 – Older Youth

In their March and April 2020 Health Reform Monitoring Survey, the Urban Institute found that 57.4 percent of Gen Z adults (18-22 years old) reported jobrelated losses in their families—the highest reported share of any working-age generation. Urban Institute experts outline some policies to support the financial stability of Gen Z including expanding eligibility for pandemic relief payments to dependent adults and continued relief for utility bills. These young adults, often with little or no credit history, could also be supported by financial institutions offering affordable short-term credit. Another potential support would be increasing cost-effective health care options for young adults, such as through Marketplace subsidies or the Medicaid matching rate. #covid-19 #workforce

Coronavirus-related unemployment surge impacts young children

May 21, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

The Center for Law and Social Policy covers the impact that current widespread unemployment will have on the young children in those families. Recent data show that “one in three parents of children under age three in New York City reports skipping or reducing meals themselves, and one in 10 parents report being forced to skip or reduce their children’s meals.” Children of color face disproportionate impacts of the public health and economic crisis, and the pandemic and related job losses have increased depression and anxiety symptoms among both hourly, low-wage parents and their children. Child development experts warn that these challenges may have lasting impacts into adulthood. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #mentalhealth

Large-scale tutoring programs aim to reduce summer learning loss

May 21, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new blog post from Brookings focuses on ameliorating summer learning loss—a phenomenon that is especially relevant after spring’s disrupted learning. The authors suggest bolstering tutoring programs that pair college students or recent graduates with K-12 students. This approach not only provides a crucial tutoring service for young students but also creates needed job opportunities for young adults. The Tennessee Tutoring Corps, created and personally funded by a former Tennessee governor, is an example of such an effort. Brookings reports on best practices that for scaling up these programs and the effectiveness of one-on-one, personalized high-dosage tutoring. #covid-19 #education

The University of California System suspends SAT, ACT admissions requirement

May 21, 2020 – Older Youth

As the pandemic forced standardized tests like the SAT and ACT to be taken online from home, many colleges question their utility under these conditions. In addition to concerns about potential cheating, many also worried about inequities for students without broadband access at home and those with disabilities. In California, the public University of California system has decided to suspend its SAT and ACT mandate through 2024, with plans to eliminate standardized admissions exams in 2025. Over 1,200 institutions across the United States have also gone test-optional either before the pandemic or more recently given the new education landscape. This may represent a turning point for the role of standardized tests in college admissions. #covid-19 #education