Research & Recovery Roundup Blog

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The Office of Learning & Research (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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A new analysis of North Carolina 2022-23 test results indicates clear signs of continued academic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest evidence of post-pandemic recovery in the state’s public schools was presented today to the State Board of Education by Dr. Jeni Corn, director of research and evaluation in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration (OLR).
There is meaning in establishing a partnership. For researchers and educators, this is significant. In traditional circles, the notion of conducting research is viewed as an academic exercise where a problem is identified, a methodology is proposed to address the problem, and evidence is presented considering specific outcomes. These siloed spaces existing between researchers and practitioners have presented challenges in education. As a state agency, our task was to examine how we could undo these patterns and transform how we work with university partnerships. Through these partnerships, our focus was to leverage actionable findings that were more meaningful for districts and constituencies in the educational field. Through this year-long journey, four UNC-system research institutions partnered with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to evaluate the impact and implementation of summer learning programs across various regions in the state.
For the past several years, pursuant to S.L. 2021-180 Section 7.27(a)(6), the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and SAS Institute Inc. (SAS EVAAS) collaborated to provide educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders with insight into the impacts of the pandemic on the K-12 public school system. The “Lost Instructional Time Impact Analysis” and “Recovery Analysis” presented average differences between students’ expected and actual performance during 2021 and 2022, respectively, and define recovery as progress back towards those expectations.
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.