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The COVID-19 Slide: Research on Learning Loss With Dr. Megan Kuhfeld

In each episode of the Inside Our MIND podcast, we take a look at issues and challenges facing education that we are working to address through research, technology and strategic initiatives.

In our latest episode, Brian welcomes Dr. Megan Kuhfeld to the program for a discussion about COVID-related school closures and their effects on students.

Megan is a research scientist at the not-for-profit organization NWEA. She seeks to understand students’ trajectories of academic and social-emotional learning and the school and neighborhood influences that promote optimal growth. Her work covers a range of topics, including longitudinal growth modeling, achievement gaps, and summer learning loss. 

Megan recently co-authored a research brief titled “The COVID-19 Slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on student academic achievement.” She also co-authored a new working paper that built on the COVID Slide brief, and highlighted the increased variability of student needs that schools will likely be seeing in the future.

In her discussion with Brian, Megan provides an overview of both studies, and they talk about the immediate and long-term challenges the current situation is creating for students, schools, and families. 

You can listen to the episode in the player below:

Topics Covered in the Podcast:

0:45 Intro
2:45 NWEA and Megan’s work
5:00 Seasonal learning loss data and its application to the COVID-19 situation
8:00 Slowdown or slide--projected learning losses
12:30 Additional COVID-19-specific challenges
15:15 Increased variability of needs for next school year
18:45 Social and emotional challenges for students and families

21:30 Moving forward--thoughts and recommendations

You can learn more about NWEA on their website, and follow Megan on Twitter at @MeganKuhfeld.

Thanks for listening to the podcast! Please leave us a review on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you are listening to the show. Subscribe to get future episodes as soon as they are released!

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Additional Resources:

Meeting the Educational Challenges of COVID-19 Together
Annenberg Institute
Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE)
CASEL: COVID-19 SEL Resources
Child Trends COVID-19 Resources

Free Ebook Download--Demanding More From Edtech Evaluations

Brian LeTendre

About the Author

Brian LeTendre was the Director of Impact Advancement at MIND Research Institute. In addition to building thought leadership and brand awareness for MIND, Brian worked cross-functionally internally and externally to amplify MIND's social impact and accelerate our mission. He is an author, podcaster and avid gamer.


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