Issue Brief: Pandemic Trends that may Stick Around

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the education field in multiple ways. Policymakers, superintendents, school leaders, and teachers have had to adopt new models, processes, policies, protocols, and strategies in order to conduct the business of teaching and learning over the last year. As the nation (eventually) emerges from this pandemic, which changes are likely to stick around?

Core Education’s March issue brief explores survey results and other projections to uncover the trends with staying power. Virtual schools emerge as a clear front-runner, with other major changes to policy, staffing, scheduling, professional development (PD), and instruction likely candidates for continuation. Potential long-term policy changes include competency-based learning and credit attainment; alternatives to seat time; availability of crowdsourced lessons, videos, and instructional resources; and changes to staff work rules. Staffing and scheduling changes include four-day and flexible schedules to allow for small-group and individualized support, virtual office hours, assignment of teacher responsibilities based on teacher strengths, and extension of the reach of the most talented educators. PD and instruction changes include advisory and relationship-building models; on-demand and self-paced PD and learning modules; remote coaching; virtual professional learning communities (PLCs); and a greater mix of live and recorded sessions.

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