NEPC Review: Remote Learning Is Here to Stay: Results from the First American School District Panel Survey (RAND Corporation, December 2020)
The RAND Corporation released a report based on a national survey of school district superintendents and charter management organization directors about their experiences navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey asks non-biased questions about how school districts and charter schools have responded to the pandemic and about their greatest educational needs. But some issues arise with the report’s reporting of results and with one of its two recommendations. The report’s first recommendation does follow from the respondents’ need for more funding to address inequities and socio-emotional learning. But the other recommendation, for more funding to support remote learning, does not appear to align with needs expressed by district leaders. The report also combines two different types of local education agencies (school districts and CMOs), so it is unclear how much of the resulting answers are driven by each type. Readers are encouraged to go beyond the title and read deeper to get a complete picture of the challenges, needs, and future of education from district leaders’ perspectives.