Step Into Spring (Indoors)

March 24, 2020

Happy spring! Winter was quite a season…but the trees are blossoming, the grass is greening, and the CDC says you are allowed to walk outside as long as you keep six feet from others and wash your hands when you get home. (Not sure how the Governor’s latest order impacts outside time, but hopefully the escalation in measures taken statewide ensures the measures can be shorter-lived). Whatever you’re doing, stay safe and healthy.

This week’s first piece is several months old, but I’m re-upping the last peer-reviewed piece I wrote/co-authored. It’s on technology use in remedial education. It came out last summer, but I think it’s relevant given campuses’ forced migration online. And I also think it’s relevance goes beyond dev ed. Here’s the link to the piece itself. And here’s a link to my brilliant co-author’s tweet thread summarizing the work. Also, a related blog post that originally appeared in 2017 (the academic publication timeline is quite a thing…from journal receipt, to online publication, to official publication can take two years!). The interviews we conducted were focused on remedial courses, but this is definitely still relevant to California’s community college landscape.

Not a research piece, but here is a really thoughtful post from a community college president in Massachusetts about some of the equity implications presented by this crisis. Closing Harvard for the remainder of the semester won’t derail students the same way that closing a community college campus will. Yet another way that crises like these will hit our most vulnerable populations in ways that go well beyond cancelled spring breaks and commencements.

If you’ve run through your Netflix list, here’s a show you might like. It’s called America ReFramed. The episode linked here is about three kids in Brooklyn who become peer counselors and try to help their friends and classmates think differently about college. Disclosure, I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s been recommended to me by people I tend to trust…and who will get an earful from me if it’s problematic or not entertaining…

On the more technical, less COVID-related front, I’m looking at an article by some folks at MDRC. It’s a very methods-focused piece discussing the interpretation of “regression discontinuity designs”. These studies are important in our space because they’re used in places where there are cut scores or hard cut-offs in eligibility, so we see them a fair amount in education. For folks looking for a fairly non-technical guide to interpreting regression discontinuity studies and other designs, this piece might be helpful.

– Stay healthy!

Vikash Reddy
Vikash Reddy, Senior Director of Policy Research