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Project Overview

These reports explore Learning Renewal in Illinois after the COVID-19 pandemic disruption to schooling. We study how important student outcomes, including test scores, attendance and enrollment, have shifted since the pandemic and what districts have done to address these shifts. We also study how emergency federal spending (“ESSER spending”) was used in Illinois and how districts prioritized spending across all waves. Finally, we explore the relation between ESSER spending and student learning outcomes, and we identify and highlight the strategies of districts with higher bounce-back learning rates.

Learning Renewal

Report 1: Descriptive Trends in Student Renewal Outcomes in Illinois: Test Scores, Enrollment and Attendance

In this report, we use student-level data to explore patterns of renewal across three key student outcomes: state test scores (IAR for Grades 3-8 and SAT for Grade 11), enrollment, and attendance. We investigate how these patterns varied across student characteristics (e.g., eligibility for free or reduced priced lunch, English learner status, race/ethnicity) and grade level (elementary vs. middle school vs. high school).

 

 

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Report 2: Describing ESSER Spending for Recovery in Illinois

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were provided to states and school districts across the nation to support schools during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data on ESSER spending reported by Illinois school districts, this report analyzes and classifies districts’ spending across time into five categories. We also explore differences in spending across different types of districts.

 

 

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Learning Renewal
Learning Renewal

Report 3: Exploring Practices for Learning Renewal in Illinois After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Towards a more detailed view of districts’ learning renewal practices, this report describes how 81 Illinois school districts tackled disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings come from a survey of district leadership on strategies for learning renewal, including staffing and interventions that took place during or prior to School Year 2021-2022. The report identifies common strategies and differences in strategy use across different types of districts (by size, urbanicity, and overall funding level).

 

 

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Brief: Highlighting Districts with Strong Learning Renewal in Illinois

In this brief, we provide an overview of the varying patterns of learning renewal after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the diverse range of practices employed by districts in Illinois across two successful recovery groups.

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Learning Renewal

Project Team

Mariana Barragan Torres

Mariana Barragan Torres

Research Specialist, IWERC

Project Lead


marianab@uillinois.edu

Meg Bates

Meg Bates

Director of IWERC

 


Sarah Cashdollar

Sarah Cashdollar

Associate Director of Research, IWERC

 


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Sebastián Kiguel

Research Associate, IWERC

 


skiguel@uillinois.edu

Anna

Anna Barkley

Graduate Research Associate, IWERC