High-quality data is critical to understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting students, educators, and schools. All4Ed, in partnership with the Center for American Progress, Education Reform Now, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Urban League, SchoolHouse Connection, The Education Trust, and UnidosUS, submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the School Pulse Panel Data Collection, a monthly, nationally representative survey of K-12 schools. We know the pandemic exacerbated preexisting inequities and created new challenges for our nation’s students. The School Pulse Panel is a critical instrument to inform policymakers and the public on COVID-19’s impact on students and schools.
We commend the Biden administration’s continued efforts to advance policies focused on equity and improving outcomes for historically underserved students, especially by disaggregating data, by groups of student, on school enrollment, mode of instruction, and supports provided in the School Pulse Panel. We know these students are also those whose communities have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we appreciate ED’s efforts to collect information on the multiple needs and experiences of these students.
We also appreciate that, unlike data collected during the 2020-2021 school year, the current survey will include high schools in addition to elementary and middle schools. It is essential to collect information about the educational experiences of high school students during the pandemic given data on the declines in student engagement, increases in class failure rates, and declines
in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion and subsequent college enrollment, particularly for students from high poverty high schools and students of color.
Read our full comments below.