New NCES Data Show Shifts in Mode of Instruction and Health and Safety Strategies at Nation’s Public Schools
December 15, 2021
NCES Expands Data Collections Related to the Pandemic’s Impact on Public Schools
WASHINGTON (December 15, 2021)—Almost all (99%) public school fourth- and eighth-graders are attending school full-time in-person, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). While nearly all public schools offered in-person instruction to all students, about one-third offered remote instruction to at least some students. The findings, from the inaugural experimental School Pulse Panel (SPP) and the new round of data collected through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), are part of NCES’s innovative approach to delivering timely information regarding the pandemic’s impact on elementary and secondary schools in the U.S.
“These critical data expand our understanding of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the operation of U.S. public schools and how schools have responded to the pandemic,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “It is encouraging to see that almost all public school students have returned to classrooms for in-person instruction during this academic year.”
The School Pulse Panel is a new study sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences, the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The study is administered by NCES in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. The School Pulse Panel collects extensive data on issues concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and staff in the U.S. from a nationally representative sample of public primary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools. The NAEP data are comprised of the public schools sampled to participate in the 2022 NAEP assessment. The NAEP data are from a sample of 7,400 public schools serving fourth- and eighth-graders collected from September through December.
“The School Pulse Panel provides a snapshot on critical issues, such as the instructional mode offered by schools; enrollment counts of students using various instructional modes; strategies to address pandemic-related learning needs; safe and healthy school mitigation strategies; special education services; use of technology; and information on staffing,” said NCES Associate Commissioner Chris Chapman. “We are grateful for all of the school officials who participated in these data collections while also doing the difficult job of reopening schools and educating students during the pandemic. These data are essential and will support our understanding of the pandemic’s impact on American students.”
“The School Pulse Panel and NAEP pre-assessment data are part of IES’s strategy to provide reliable and timely information to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on American education and help the nation identify the path to recovery,” said IES Director Mark Schneider.
The School Pulse Panel provides reliable data on a wealth of information focused on school reopening efforts, virus spread mitigation strategies, services offered for students and staff, and technology use, as reported by principals in U.S. public schools. The data collected in this survey will help to inform ongoing policy and funding discussions. Winter data collection for the School Pulse Panel is scheduled to begin in early 2022.
This is the initial experimental data product release from the School Pulse Panel. Experimental data products are innovative statistical products created using new data sources or methodologies. Experimental data may not meet all NCES quality standards but are of sufficient benefit to data users in the absence of other relevant products. NCES clearly identifies experimental data products upon their release. The data released today can be found at the IES dashboard at https://ies.ed.gov/schoolsurvey/.
Mode of instruction
Supporting learning needs
Health and safety
Education technology support
Social, emotional, mental well-being support
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.
Contact: Josue DeLaRosa, NCES, ARIS.NCES@ed.gov, (202) 705-6692