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.

 

Student debt relief needed in coronavirus recovery

June 3, 2020 – Families

Experts at Brookings suggest that student debt cancellation—or some other form of long-term student debt relief—is needed in the next national COVID-19 relief bill. Although the CARES Act does provide some student debt relief by temporarily suspending some payments, authors suggest a more comprehensive solution will be necessary. Even before the pandemic, “almost two-thirds of student borrowers were unable to pay down the principal or even all of the monthly interest on their loans, resulting in increasing debt balances.” Borrowers of color, especially Black borrowers, are disproportionately burdened by student debt and supportive policies can begin to address these longstanding inequalities. Brooking authors estimate the impact of various levels of student loan forgiveness ($10k, $20k, and $30k), finding that a $20k of forgiveness would provide total relief for almost half of all borrowers. #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

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

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

Team teaching and flexibility in Manchester to support remote learning

May 27, 2020 – Young Children

The Concord Monitor highlights how teachers and administrators at one of the poorest elementary schools in New Hampshire’s largest city (Manchester) have been strategic and intentional about remote learning implementation. The Beech Street Elementary School is creating shared lesson plans for all students in a grade level, with modifications for special education and English Language Learner students. Staff connect with parents through phone, email, Facebook, and Instagram, and students can submit their work on a flexible timeline and via their online assignment portal, email, photo, or other method. #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

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

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