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 www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 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.

 

Even before the pandemic many low-income students faced limited technology access

May 29, 2020 – General

Using data from the nationally representative Understanding America Study, researchers from the University of California explored issues of student access to technology. The researchers found that 85% of families with at least one school-aged child had access to the internet and a home computer, although rates were much lower (63%) among families earning $25,000 or less per year. The researchers note that children in these families may still have access to technology through tablets, smartphones, or public WiFi, but that the quality of their educational experience likely differs from those among their higher income peers. #covid-19 #education

Cutting school funding is not an appropriate solution to balance state budgets

May 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

As many states face budget shortfalls due to the impacts of the pandemic, experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities write of the importance of continuing to strive for equitable education and K-12 funding. Before the pandemic began, fifteen U.S. states—including New Hampshire and Rhode Island—had been sued over their inadequate or inequitable school funding. Cuts to school funding were a prominent strategy used to balance state budgets during the Great Recession and may be used again in this crisis. Experts warn of the consequences of these measures besides additional lawsuits—a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that for every 10 percent of funding that was cut due to the Great Recession, graduation rates decreased by 2.6 percentage points. #covid-19 #education

Using Culturally Responsive Practices to Foster Learning During School Closures: Challenges and Opportunities for Equity

May 10, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

An article from the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic suggests that the shift to remote K-12 education provides a unique opportunity to increase the connection between schools and families, which can be leveraged to engage in culturally responsive practices. #covid-19 #education

Even before the pandemic many low-income students faced limited technology access

May 8, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Using data from the nationally representative Understanding America Study, researchers from the University of California explored issues of student access to technology. The researchers found that 85% of families with at least one school-aged child had access to the internet and a home computer, although rates were much lower (63%) among families earning $25,000 or less per year. The researchers note that children in these families may still have access to technology through tablets, smartphones, or public WiFi, but that the quality of their educational experience likely differs from those among their higher income peers. #covid-19 #education

More federal relief needed for elementary and secondary education

May 7, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Brookings scholars draw on elementary and secondary education policy outcomes from the Great Recession to inform their recommendations for COVID-19 federal relief programs. The 2020 CARES Act appropriated $16.2 billion to education relief, which is far lower than the $56.5 billion allocated during the Great Recession. Their analysis shows that even this larger 2009 package “only delayed substantial declines in spending for elementary and secondary education for two or three years, and the COVID-19 crisis is expected to hit state revenues even harder.” Authors argue that more federal relief will be needed. #covid-19 #education

School district capacity, resources do not determine remote learning engagement

May 6, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Brookings researchers report that many of the differences among school districts’ remote learning efforts are not due to capacity alone. A recent study of 82 school districts from the Center on Reinventing Public Education found that only 44 percent are providing online instruction and monitoring students’ progress. Some of the school districts in low-resource communities, like Los Angeles County and Miami-Dade County, have had successful transitions to daily remote learning. Consistent expectations and accountability have been key to keeping students engaged. Other more affluent districts, such as in Seattle, have lagged in setting up remote learning and the lack of accountability has resulted in many students not participating at all. #covid-19 #education

Rural, black, and Native youth disconnected from alternative education programming

May 1, 2020 – Older Youth

A new article from Pew Trusts Stateline highlights the challenges of the pandemic for disconnected youth, with focus on rural, black, and Native youth. For those who were tenuously connected to alternative education and skill-building program, socially distanced versions of programming may not be enough to keep them connected, especially considering infrastructure and financial barriers around virtual learning. #covid-19 #education #rural

Avoiding the COVID-19 slump: Making up for lost school time

April 30, 2020 – Young Children

Brookings indentidfies major hurdles to overcome by the set backs of distance learning. One important difference between the COVID-19 slump and summer slump is the long-term impact of stress, which has been linked to learning problems. The upshot of these additional stressors would suggest that the COVID-19 slump might have even more impact on children from under-resourced homes than does the summer slump. #covid-19 #education

Providing Emergency Aid to College Students in a Time of Crisis (Recommendations to colleges on how to distribute federal relief funding to students)

April 30, 2020 – Older Youth

Public and private funds are becoming available to assist students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Issue Focus highlights lessons from prior evaluations of emergency aid programs to help colleges identify students in need and allocate resources equitably, with the goal of enabling their students to navigate the current crisis and ultimately succeed in college and beyond. #covid-19 #education

Should the Virus Mean Straight A’s for Everyone?

April 30, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

The New York Times reports on how high schools across the country are dealing with grading in the pandemic. Hawaii approved a modification of graduation requirements, and recommended that third quarter grades be treated as final, although many states have not made recommendations, leaving decisions to school districts and resulting in varied approaches. Seattle Public Schools decided that all high school students will receive an A or an incomplete, noting that “grades have historically rewarded students with privilege and penalized others. This issue has become even more apparent during this COIVD-19 emergency.” Similarly, teachers in California’s San Mateo Union High School District support the district’s decision to adopt a credit/no credit grading system. #covid-19 #education

Even before the Pandemic, Students with Limited Technology Access Lagged behind Their Peers

April 28, 2020 – Young Children

As the nation navigates an unprecedented shift to online learning, standardized test data show students without computer or internet access are already far behind their peers in reading and math achievement. Federal policymakers, philanthropists, and internet providers looking to mitigate the negative effects of distance learning can use student survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to target state-level investments. Continued data collection—especially on the 2021 NAEP, if possible—will be critical for understanding the effects of this sweeping change on student outcomes. #covid-19 #education

Coronavirus Will Require Changes in Schools When They Reopen to Protect Students

April 16, 2020 – General

Schools will likely need to modify their practices so that teachers, staff, and students maintain social distancing standards when they return. Just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out interim guidance about safety practices for essential workers, a federal agency could issue guidance for schools based on expert opinion and available knowledge about the feasibility of various social distancing practices carried out in the past. #covid-19 #education