Addressing pandemic fallout: New call for proposals

Students in a science class put the final touches on their class presentation.

Test scores have plummeted and racial disparities are widening. Student misbehavior and adult political disputes are disrupting teaching. Mental health needs are soaring. And more graduates are opting out of immediate college enrollment, bypassing the traditional path into America’s professional workforce – potentially for good.

To address such urgent developments, the Center on Reinventing Public Education, along with generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, is investing $4 million in direct grants to researchers to support projects related to Covid recovery. CRPE is joined in this work by University of Southern California’s Morgan Polikoff, who has been leading survey research around the impact of Covid-19 on American families’ educational experiences. Polikoff will lead efforts to identify priority topics for investment, review grant submissions, and support researchers to produce actionable insights for the field.

Last week, CRPE issued a request for proposals for rapid research on Covid-related impacts and emerging solutions for students in high school and beyond. The deadline for proposals is April 7. Projects can be funded up to $50,000 in funding and up to one year in duration.

This first round of Covid recovery sub-grants will support research examining innovative, effective policies and interventions to improve opportunities for students in high school, postsecondary institutions, and/or work training programs. Older teenagers and young adults have little time left to receive transitional support and guidance commonly embedded in the K-12 system, and many have experienced academic downward spirals that, barring immediate and intensive intervention, may forever shift their life trajectories.

Future sub-grants will be driven by an annual gap analysis of research underway compared to research needed in the area of pandemic impact, recovery, and solutions. CRPE will employ working groups to identify those needs and issue subsequent RFPs to address them.

This work strengthens the impact of the Evidence Project, a research effort pioneered by CRPE in early 2020 to convene researchers and accelerate evidence-building to help schools and educators address fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We continue to curate and share the latest research about schools’ pandemic response and recovery effort in our Evidence Project newsletter, published twice monthly. We welcome you to read the latest edition and subscribe.

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