Research on Education Strategies to
Advance Recovery and Turnaround



Teaching recovery? Three years in, school system leaders report that the pandemic weakened instruction

From the report: "In this report, we conclude our research on five school systems to reveal the academic, social, and political challenges posed by the pandemic and what leaders and their staff are doing to address student learning loss. This report provides a possible explanation for why we continue to see lackluster student test scores (see for example, recent NAEP and NWEA scores) and why school systems struggle to implement and scale targeted student supports. 

Among the significant findings in this report are:

  • A crisis in the quality of classroom teaching is, leaders say, diverting time and resources away from targeted supports for students and toward improving classroom instruction.
  • Leaders report less day-to-day chaos, but unexpected challenges in staffing and teacher development have curtailed recovery efforts. As a result, their Covid recovery plans have been difficult, if not impossible, to carry out.
  • Plans for tutoring and other customized help have been undone by leaders’ need to build (or rebuild) teachers’ core skills.
  • Millions of dollars and the best of intentions and efforts notwithstanding, leaders are struggling to overcome challenges to providing baseline services to students.

This report, with its unguarded feedback from dozens of system leaders across the United States, is an important peek into systemic challenges that force us to evaluate our shared expectations for what kind of student recovery may – or may not – be possible."

American School District Panel
Rainey, L., Hill, P., & Lake, R.
Date Display
July 2023