Igniting Learning

School Environment Matters“Research on the academic impact of Hurricane Katrina showed that while students initially experience some learning loss, the persistence of these losses depended on the school environment. Losses faded after a year or two if students returned to stable schools, whereas losses tended to persist, especially in math, when students reentered chaotic or hostile environments.” –TNTP

Disruptions caused by the pandemic have resulted in significant student learning losses and exacerbated longstanding inequities in our education system. Teachers and educational leaders need to support learning recovery. Researchers are suggesting schools focus on learning acceleration instead of academic remediation. Learning acceleration does not mean teaching faster, it means using a range of instructional strategies that can help all students access and learn the most important grade-level content, knowledge and skills as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, students need a relevant and engaging learning environment that puts them at the center and ignites their passion and commitment to learn.

One national study from TNTP estimates that Black and Latinx students lost about 10 months of learning, compared to six months of learning lost by White students. The same study estimates that students from low-income backgrounds will lose an entire year of learning they would have otherwise gained if school had remained open.

Equity priorities

  • Provide students with access to technology and the internet to ensure a seamless connection between work done at school and at home.
  • Accelerate learning for specific student groups more impacted by learning loss, such as students from lower-income households and English Language learners, by prioritizing family and student relationships.
  • Design learning environments that focus on the intersection between student learning, behavior, and social emotional needs.