In times of crisis, knowledge must flow freely and quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic created just such a crisis in K-12 education.
Under these circumstances, research can pay huge dividends. It can help practitioners and policymakers identify and assess emerging innovations. It can help them anticipate conditions ahead—such as multiple waves of closures, the need to maintain social distancing even after students return to campuses, major cuts in school funding, and efforts to address varied and significant student learning losses—that will force further changes.
Research is needed. But fragmented initiatives, conflicting findings, and duplicated efforts will not yield the dividends we need. Without coordination, we risk overlooking major gaps in our evidence base that leave essential questions unanswered.
For these reasons, the Center on Reinventing Public Education has launched a new initiative that will advance solutions-oriented analysis of the K-12 response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Evidence Project will bring together researchers from around the country under the banner of narrowing the gap between research and policy.
Through the Evidence Project, and in partnership with participating researchers, CRPE will:
- Aggregate and coordinate existing national research efforts to make analysis and expertise accessible to the public.
- Connect researchers, education leaders, policymakers, and funders to spur new collaborations.
- Identify problems that need attention and incentivize researchers to address those gaps.
- Conduct rapid-response research on urgent questions.
- Call attention to critical work and findings with regular broadcasts to the field.
- Synthesize lessons learned, emerging issues, and implications, making sure practitioners and policymakers get useful information when it can make a difference.