Research & Recovery Roundup Blog

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The Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration (OLR) coordinates collaborative COVID-recovery education research, evaluation, and evidence-based initiatives within North Carolina. A goal of the OLR is to provide approachable and actionable data to a variety of educational stakeholders.  

As part of our commitment to that goal, throughout 2022, our office will be publishing a series of blog posts and whitepapers intended to help the field unpack the comprehensive report released in March 2022 to help understand the overall impact of the pandemic on students in North Carolina’s public school system, based on 2020-21 year-end state exams (End-of-Grade and End-of-Course). Through these blog posts and whitepapers series, each month we will focus on a key finding or student group to explore in more detail and use existing literature to identify and propose key evidenced-based interventions intended to help those students combat the impact of lost instructional time and accelerate learning.  

Questions: Jeni Corn, Director of Research and Evaluation.   

Recent Posts

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Last year, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and SAS Institute Inc. (SAS) collaborated to leverage existing student assessment data and yield insight into how the pandemic disrupted student learning. The focus of the Impact Analysis was to identify the overall impact to the state as well as subjects, grades and student groups most affected by lost instructional time. One year later, NCDPI and SAS revisited the Impact Analysis to understand students’ recovery through the 2021-22 school year.
The Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration (OLR) studies COVID-recovery initiatives within North Carolina’s public schools. OLR has partnered with the EVAAS team at SAS to measure the pandemic’s overall effect on academic progress, based on the results of state standardized tests, by comparing individual students to their own expected performance rather than the average performance of pre-pandemic cohorts. This analysis is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and should inform education policy throughout the state.  See preliminary report released in March 2022 and full technical report released in December 2022. 
Initially, NCDPI found it very informative to view statewide Lost Instructional Time results in terms of average negative impacts of the pandemic. For the first time, this whitepaper presents the findings focused on the distribution of effects, which allows education stakeholders to better understand that many students across all groups made and exceeded expected growth during the pandemic year. 
Education uses attendance as both an indicator of student engagement and a predictor of outcomes in educational quality. Attendance has become an increasingly salient issue during the pandemic, given sustained disruptions to traditional in-person schooling and concerns regarding student development and equity. In this post, OLR describes selected patterns of monthly attendance (whether present or absent) and instructional mode (whether present remotely or in-person) across North Carolina during the 2020-2021 school year.
During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted traditional methods of student learning. Traditional methods of delivery were uprooted by school closures and an unplanned shift to remote learning.  Our teachers and school and district leaders responded by an unprecedented shift to digital learning and provided a digital device for every teacher and student in the state.