The pandemic stresses children and the education system, making gulfs out of pre-existing gaps in academic achievement. The education system was imperfect before, with some children thriving while others fall increasingly far behind. Over the last two years, some families and children found systems and processes that facilitated their learning, but for most children and families, education during the pandemic led to fewer gains, decreased self-confidence, and much parental strife. Through this conversation, we will explore the data and what funders can do to not only help children catch up, but to close the gaps between those that succeed in our current system and those that do not.

Funder Conversations

Closing Gaps: Academic Success for All Post-Pandemic

After two years of instability due to the pandemic, many funders and parents are concerned about children’s lost opportunities. Alarming data on lower reading and math gains have led foundations leaders to wonder what can be done to help children “catch up.” Join us to learn more about: What the data really says about children’s…

Related News & Updates

The Power of School, Family, and Community Partnerships to Accelerate Student Learning – The Education Trust

Part of the Ed Trust’s Strategies to Solve Unfinished Learning guide, this webinar focuses on the connections between schools, families, and community-based organizations. One of the primary takeaways from our webinar was the importance of communication between these three pillars of kids’ academic life. This webinar recording from the Ed Trust explores these connections in…

Advancing Student Learning and Opportunity through Voluntary Summer Academic Learning Programs – EdResearch Programs for Recovery

Through extensive research, this guide outlines the principles for effective summer learning programs. What are the essential components of a program that effectively improves student achievement? What are the levers for funders to consider when bringing a program to scale?

Increasing Equity in Early Intervention – The Education Trust

This report reviews the importance of early intervention and its role in decreasing academic inequities. Read a scan of state policies and learn how early intervention was affected by the pandemic. Finally, the report provides recommendations for action.

Is Your State Prioritizing Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development? – The Education Trust

This state-by-state scan of policies by the Education Trust and CASEL reviews six policy areas: discipline; rigorous and culturally sustaining curriculum; educator diversity; professional development; student, family, and community engagement; and wraparound services. Use this tool to see your state’s strengths and areas for improvement!

Strategies to Solve Unfinished Learning – The Education Trust

So what can we do to help students with unfinished learning? What roles can funders play? Are there particular leverage points that will more effectively and efficiently increase students’ academic achievement? In this guide, The Education Trust explores how much education funding each state is getting from the American Rescue Plan and the effectiveness of…

Learning During COVID-19: Reading and math achievement in the 2020-2021 school year – NWEA Research

This article from NWEA Research is one of the primary sources of data on unfinished learning during the pandemic. It outlines the areas in which students had the least gains and also which students were most adversely affected by the pandemic. Students did make academic gains during the school year, but at a lower rate…

COVID-19 and Education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning – McKinsey & Company

In this article, McKinsey & Company explore the data on unfinished learning during the pandemic and suggest ways these gaps can be closed and historical inequities be challenged to build a stronger, more equitable education system moving forward.

Recommendations for State Leaders to Advance Equity Using Funds from the American Rescue Plan – The Education Trust

The ARP includes funds for helping students with unfinished learning and addressing students’ socioemotional needs. These funds can be used in creative, effective ways to better meet children and teachers’ needs in the classroom. This guide from The Education Trust outlines suggestions to ensure that the funds build equity in the classroom instead of further…

Navigating a COVID-19 World: Ideas, information, and guidance for educators and arts professionals – Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation has an excellent set of resources, including information on The American Rescue Plan Act and what funders could do in afterschool coordination systems, principal leadership, social and emotional learning, and summer learning. They also have collected blog posts and reports on the shifting landscape of education during the pandemic, especially around arts…

Holding Students Back: An inequitable and ineffective response to unfinished learning – Education Trust

This factsheet from The Education Trust explores the data-backed research on grade retention, why some states are offering it to families, and more effective ways to address unfinished learning.