State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt testified today on North Carolina’s approach to COVID-19 pandemic recovery at a hearing convened by the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.
Truitt highlighted North Carolina’s Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration (OLR), which the state education agency created in 2021 to support local school districts and charter schools in their pathway towards recovery.
With an intentional focus on research and data, Truitt pointed to initiatives enacted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and school districts to address lost instructional time. Chief among those agency-led efforts are several comprehensive reports produced by the OLR that detail the impact of learning loss, with analysis based on student-level test data.
Additional efforts highlighted by the Superintendent included the state education agency’s joint $6.73 million effort to launch the NC Research Recovery Network, which funded 20 academic research teams across the state to better understand the effectiveness of state and local programs and policies supported through federal Elementary and Secondary School Relief Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding. She also lifted up the agency’s efforts to host annual summer convenings with district leaders to strengthen collaboration among districts and share best practices. This meeting provides district leaders the opportunity to examine data alongside experts in teaching and learning and develop recovery strategies using their available COVID-19 funding.
“While our state has more to do, North Carolina was unique and intentional in its approach to recovery and acceleration. … We have been transparent, data-driven and research based every step of the way. We remain committed to working alongside our school districts – providing them with access to tools, data and one-on-one sessions so they can make informed decisions about how to best serve their students,” Truitt said in prepared testimony.
Image courtesy of The Committee on Education and the Workforce.