This report is part of the American School District Panel (ASDP), a joint project between the Center on Reinventing Public Education, the RAND Corporation, Chiefs for Change, the Council of Great City Schools, and Kitamba, an education consulting firm. The ASDP's primary work is conducting a series of nationally-representative surveys of school districts.
In this report, we complement our survey research with in-depth interviews of leaders on the ground in six school systems. Our goal was to learn how these system leaders approached and managed student learning during this difficult year and to gauge what it means for the future.
- When it came to instruction, the school systems favored "acceleration" over remediation.
- School systems that had coherent instructional systems in place before the pandemic had an easier time delivering grade-level content.
- In some cases, improving instruction alone may not be enough. Two of the systems that faced deeper inequity and performance challenges befor the pandemic were considering more fundamental shifts.
What happens next will depend not only on district actions but on the nature and depth of students' academic and social needs, which will only become clear over time.