CRPE in the media, COVID-19 Summer

CRPE in the news - Responding to education changes due to COVID-19

crpe-logo-web.pngUW Bothell's education center, Center for Reinventing Public Education, has pivoted their research focus to provide support and expertise in response to K-12 education affected by COVID-19 closures.

This page includes news stories referencing research completed by CRPE for July and August. 2020.  View April-June's articles.
View CRPE's media page.

August 2020


  • The Price Students Pay When Schools Are Closed,, summer 2020, 
    Numerous school districts are announcing plans to return to the online education they attempted last spring or to open their schools only with highly restrictive regulations on the teaching and learning experience. The CRPE reports the following results from a nationally representative survey of school districts in the United States: “Just 1 in 3 districts has been expecting all teachers to deliver instruction.”

  • Government Teachers’ Unions Unveil New COVID-19 Demand: Pay Us For Doing Nothing,, July 31, 2020
    Teachers unions are threatening to strike if schools reopen, but they’re also pushing to limit online teaching. As Robin Lake, director of CRPE, said, “I feel like we are treating kids as pawns in this game.”

  • Teachers Are Wary of Returning to Class, and Online Instruction Too,, July 30, 2020
    Unions are threatening to strike if classrooms reopen, but are also pushing to limit live remote teaching. Their demands will shape pandemic education. CRPE is referenced.

  • Anxiety grows as MN schools, parents await back-to-school ruling from Gov. Walz,, July 29, 2020
    Minnesota public schools on Thursday will get much-anticipated guidance from state officials on what a return to class might look like during the coronavirus pandemic this fall. CRPE reviewed U.S. school reopening plans. 

  • Opinion: Teachers union’s actions exacerbate learning losses caused by coronavirus impact, Forbes, July 28, 2020
    “The Massachusetts Teachers Association secured a major concession to delay school another two weeks to give teachers time to “prepare” for school ... That may work for wealthy families who can stay at the beach, or afford tutors, but what about the vast majority of families whose students lost ground this spring?" writes Forbes contributor Jeanne Allen. Robin Lake, director of CRPE is quoted.

  • Fast Forward: Is it time for project-based curriculum to replace traditional model?, July 28, 2020
    Some districts implemented a degree of project-based learning assessed through feedback during coronavirus shutdowns this spring — changes some experts say could remain after the pandemic wanes. According to a review of 30 districts’ 2020-21 reopening plans by CRPE, over half specified that students in remote learning will receive feedback on assignments. 

  • CDC issues call to reopen America's schools this fall, Health Day, July 24, 2020
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a document supporting a reopening of the nation's schools this fall. Research by CRPE at UW Bothell is referenced.

  • 2020: The Year of the “Distant Learner”,, July 24, 2020
    The 2020 calendar year has brought forth uncertainty and unprecedented circumstances that impact every aspect of life, particularly education. Only 1 in 3 districts required teachers to deliver instruction based on research from CRPE.

  • CDC releases new guidance for reopening schools,, July 24, 2020
    The CDC on Thursday added new information to its website on opening schools, but it did not appear to remove any of its earlier suggestions. A survey of 477 school districts by CRPE found that, "far too many schools are leaving learning to chance."

  • As the School Year Approaches, Education May Become the Pandemic’s Latest Casualty,, July 23, 2020
    For kids already in precarious situations, the result could be an irrevocable loss. “Time is wasting for these kids. It really matters how quickly we catch them up,” says Robin Lake, director of CRPE.

  • Rise of pandemic pods and 'Zutors': parents turn to private schooling amid coronavirus,, July 23, 2020
    Faced with the reality that many schools will be online-only this fall, families look for solutions – which could exacerbate inequality. The ways families select others to join their pod – which come down to similar neighborhoods, incomes or ability levels – has the potential to reinforce existing inequalities, said Robin Lake, the director of CRPE.

  • Private Schools Are Adapting to Lockdown Better Than the Public School Monopoly,, July 17, 2020
    A new survey finds parents are substantially more satisfied with private and charter schools’ responses to the pandemic than they were with those of traditional public schools. A recent report by CRPE found that only 1 in 3 school districts examined required teachers to deliver instruction during the lockdown, and less than half of all districts expected teachers to take attendance or check in with students regularly.

  • Back-to-school reopening plans have few details on how many COVID-19 cases would close schools,, July 17, 2020
    Even as they recommended working to reopen schools in-person, the nation's science academies warned: "It is likely that someone in the school community will contract COVID-19." USA TODAY's findings matched the conclusions of CRPE, that's been reviewing plans.

  • As Public School Questions Loom, Parents Consider Options That Could Leave Districts Scrambling,, July 16, 2020
    This week, school districts across D.C., Maryland and Virginia committed to plans for the coming school year with a variety of online and in-person options. After a national review of remote learning, CRPE issued a report stating too many schools were leaving learning to chance during the pandemic.

  • The Health 202: Schools are moving away from in-person teaching, even as more experts call for it,, July 16, 2020
    Trump and DeVos’s demands have prompted predictable knee-jerk reactions from Democrats, resulting in black-and-white discussions that should instead be had in shades of gray. “It didn’t have to be this way,” Robin Lake, director of CRPE, an education research group, told me.

  • A parent's guide to online school: 9 questions to ask to vet your back-to-school choices,, July 16, 2020
    Some instruction should be live, with consistent teachers and a consistent schedule. "There is some evidence that synchronous instruction is important," said Robin Lake, director of CRPE, which has been following how schools respond to the pandemic.

  • DeVos’ Outdated Statistic on School Efforts,, July 15, 2020
    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos used an outdated figure in claiming only 10% of school districts had “provided any kind of real curriculum and instruction program” after the coronavirus pandemic caused schools to shut down this spring. That was the case for 82 districts in late March, but by late April, 56% were doing so. In late May, the figure was 67%. Those figures, from CRPE, reflect the percentage of the 82 districts that provided formal curriculum and instruction.

  • Outside COVID-19 hot spots, try to reopen schools based on local data and safety resources,, July 13, 2020
    Reopening classes amid coronavirus should not be one size fits all: Our view. Only about a quarter of rural school systems and small-town districts expected teachers to provide instruction, according to CRPE.

  • Reopening Resilient Schools,, Fall 2020
    A consensus is growing among health officials that American schools, virtually all of which closed their doors this March, will be able to reopen in the fall. CRPE reports that, as of June 3, 61 school districts out of a nonrepresentative sample of 100 planned to offer summer school to at least some grade levels, 5 were not offering summer school, and 34 had yet to announce their plans.

  • Tracking Student Attendance Under Remote Learning Is a Complicated Mess,, July 13, 2020
    Tracking student attendance under remote learning this spring was complicated and oftentimes ad hoc, a messy process that could continue to be a big problem if schools return to full-time virtual learning anytime this school year or do some combination of in-person and online education. And, according to a survey of more than 450 school districts across the country released in June by CRPE, “only half of districts nationally expect teachers to track their students’ engagement in learning through either attendance tracking or one-on-one check-ins.

  • Learning & Development: Covid-19 Pushes It From The Back Room Into The Spotlight,, July 13, 2020
    Schools, for example, found the transition particularly difficult. Though there were notable successes, problems were rampant, according to reports. By June, as the normal school year was ending, the extent of the collapse had been well documented by Betheny Gross and Alice Opalka at CRPE.

  • Public education funding needs to accommodate students’ diverse needs,, July 12, 2020
    In the future, public education needs a funding system built to accommodate a diversity of need and allow quick responses to changes in the balance of in-person and distance learning. The new system needs to support individual children’s education, not a fixed set of buildings or employees. By Paul Hill, founder of CRPE.
  • CRPE and Student Collaborative Team Up to Create a Planning Tool to Help Districts Craft Strong Reopening Plans,, July 11, 2020
    This spring, education across the nation looked very different from normal. Schools and districts made a rapid shift to remote learning with little advance planning and limited state or federal support. By Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, which is affiliation with the University of Washington Bothell.
  • Trump Back-to-School Threats Pressure Educators Fearing Covid,, July 10, 2020
    School districts across the U.S. face a common challenge as President Donald Trump pushes them to re-open in the fall: Students won’t have a typical classroom day. Many school districts didn’t rise to the challenge of offering quality online learning in the spring, Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a nonpartisan research center, said. 
  • Newark Leads Nation in Schools That Outperform Peers, Study Finds,, July 9, 2020
    NEWARK, NJ — A recently released report has found that out of 50 cities studied, Newark is a national leader in schools that help students outperform statistical predictions based on their racial CRPE to catalog the year-end remote learning practices of during COVID-19.
  • How President Trump Politicized School Reopenings,, July 9, 2020
    The President practically snarled as he made the accusation. “They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed,” Donald Trump said in the East Room of the White House on July 7, referring to Democratic governors. “Parents feel very sympathetic toward what school districts and teachers are dealing with,” says Robin Lake, director of CRPE.

  • The Great Distance-Learning Experiment,, Summer 2020
    With almost no warning this spring, America’s schools closed, and more than 56 million children became part of a giant remote-learning trial. Robin Lake, director of CRPE, has been studying which schools coped well during the pandemic, and which lagged.

  • Which Schools Beat the Odds? In National Study, Researchers Find Top Results for Newark, Boston and Pittsburgh,, July 9, 2020
    Schools in Newark, Boston and Pittsburgh are the most successful at helping students outperform their academic peers, according to new research into K-12 education in the nation’s largest cities. The concept originally derives from a 2015 report released by CRPE.

  • Texas deaths rise, Florida cases skew older ahead of test surge,, July 8, 2020
    The federal government is ramping up coronavirus testing in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, three states seeing a surge in covid-19 infections, as health officials attempt to get a firm grasp on how the fast-moving pandemic is evolving. "The reality is that they have to map out several scenarios for the fall with the real possibility that they don't know what the scenario will be on the first day of school," said Betheny Gross, associate director of CRPE, which has been tracking districts' responses to the coronavirus shutdown.

  • Trump Insists Schools Must Open, But Teachers Aren’t So Sure,, July 7, 2020
    President Donald Trump has made his position clear: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he tweeted Monday. “The reality is that they have to map out several scenarios for the fall with the real possibility that they don’t know what the scenario will be on the first day of school,” said Bethany Gross, associate director of CRPE, which has been tracking districts’ responses to the coronavirus shutdown.

  • School System Asks Parents To Choose Between Online Only Classes Or Some In-Person Learning,, July 6, 2020
    One of the largest public school systems in the U.S. has come forward with a reopening plan for the coming school year despite uncertainty about the coronavirus. Robin Lake, director of the Center for Reinventing Public Education, told Here & Now when school starts in the fall, the average student may be one full year behind in math.

  • 'How the hell are we going to do this?' The panic over reopening schools,, July 4, 2020
    The CDC issued additional guidance this week on safely reopening schools, with infections spiking in the South and West. A review of 100 districts by CRPE found that most are in the planning process, shooting for an early July release of their reopening plans.

  • Report identifies 7 strategies for impactful assessments,, July 2, 2020
    A report released Wednesday by assessment experts and education researchers suggests high-quality assessments could be an essential tool to identify learning loss and lead to effective intervention. Representatives on the panel that contributed to the report, released by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, identified seven strategies to make assessments impactful.

    The Collaborative for Student Success and CRPE announced they're joining to provide expert analysis of school reopening plans across the country.

  • Schools went to Extraordinary Lengths to Serve Their Students,, Fall 2020, July 1, 2020.
    Forum: Did America’s Schools Rise to the Coronavirus Challenge? At the end of April, Robin Lake of CRPE wrote in The 74 that there is “no plan to prevent what could be long-lasting academic casualties, particularly among economically disadvantaged children of color in large urban districts unprepared to provide rigorous and effective remote learning.”

  • A Memorable, Miserable Failure with the Potential to Change Parental Expectations Forever,, Fall 2020, July 1, 2020
    Forum: Did America’s Schools Rise to the Coronavirus Challenge? CRPE reported on May 15, two months after widespread school closures went into effect, that 27 of the 82 school districts it tracked did not “set consistent expectations for teachers to provide meaningful remote instruction.”