New Policy Brief: Are States Addressing Equity in Remote Learning Guidelines?

As schools nationwide continue to grapple with the consequences of COVID-19, The Learning Partnership is proud to release a policy brief exploring the extent to which equity is being addressed in state remote learning guidelines. These guidelines became necessary when state governments across the country closed school buildings in March 2020. State education agencies (SEAs) issued guidance to schools and districts on how to continue educational and social services for students during the pandemic.

As school buildings began to close, there was an understandable focus on technology and connectivity access for students. Responding to such concerns, education researchers and policy organizations published articles emphasizing the importance of explicitly addressing equity when designing remote learning experiences. For this project, researchers Mark Johnson and John Wachen conducted a literature review of articles written on equity in remote learning and developed an equity framework by identifying four broad domains: access to technology, home learning environments, teacher and student readiness, and programmatic offerings and policies. These four domains were then applied to remote learning documents that were collected from the SEAs in each U.S. state and some U.S. territories. 

The findings of the analysis are promising. Overall, SEAs across the country addressed significant aspects that had the potential to guide districts and schools as they developed more equitable local remote learning plans. The policy brief contains recommendations for SEAs to consider as the pandemic continues to create conditions that necessitate remote learning into the 2020-21 school year.

The policy brief can be downloaded here.