What the Research Says

From the pages of Education Week: a roundup of recent education studies
Elementary school students sit on board a school bus after attending in-person classes at school in Wheeling, Ill., on Nov. 19, 2020. Keeping masks on and windows open can reduce the risk of COVID-19, even when students cannot keep distant, new research suggests.
Elementary school students wearing masks sit on board a school bus after attending in-person classes in Wheeling, Ill., last November.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Here's One Way to Keep School Buses Safe During the Pandemic
With nearly all students expected to return to campus in the fall, districts will face big challenges transporting large groups safely.
Sarah D. Sparks, July 26, 2021
2 min read
Image of someone holding a tablet and a book.
Carolina Jaramillo/iStock/Getty
Reading & Literacy What the Research Says Reading on Screen vs. Print: New Analysis Thickens the Plot on Promoting Comprehension
Electronic books could boost young children's comprehension more than print, but few enhance, rather than distract, new study finds
Sarah D. Sparks, July 22, 2021
4 min read
Blue illustration of global COVID-19 line graph and bar chart showing an increase.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being What the Research Says How Does the Delta Variant Figure Into Schools' Opening Plans?
Much-more virulent strains of the coronavirus will drive the spread of COVID-19 this school year. Here's how leaders should prepare.
Sarah D. Sparks, July 6, 2021
6 min read
Teresa Vazquez, a teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind., remotely teaches Spanish to students at Monroe High School in Albany, Ga., last year.
Teresa Vazquez, a teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind., remotely teaches Spanish to students at Monroe High School in Albany, Ga., last year.
Courtesy of Elevate K-12
School & District Management What the Research Says CDC: Students of Color Still Got Less In-Person Instruction as School Buildings Reopened
New research from the Centers for Disease Control finds that students of color returned to in-person, but often hybrid, classes.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 29, 2021
4 min read
Johnny Rivera discusses an algebra problem with classmates at iLEAD Academy in Carrollton, Ky.
Johnny Rivera discusses an algebra problem with classmates at iLEAD Academy in Carrollton, Ky.
Pat McDonogh for Education Week
Mathematics What the Research Says Doubling Down on Algebra Can Pay Off in College, But Who Your Peers Are Matters, Too
A new study links taking extra-long algebra classes in early high school to a higher likelihood of earning a college degree years later.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 28, 2021
3 min read
Image shows preschool boy wearing a protective face mask with a marker in hand.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Early Childhood What the Research Says Starting School After the Pandemic: Youngest Students Will Need Foundational Skills
The earliest grades saw the biggest enrollment drops in 2020-21. Experts say these students will need significant help come fall.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 21, 2021
4 min read
Image of a band aid being applied after a vaccination.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being What the Research Says CDC: Lags in Childhood Vaccines Could Spark Outbreaks in Other Illnesses
Regular childhood immunizations haven't caught up to pre-COVID-19 levels, and schools are urged to take steps now to stem outbreaks.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 17, 2021
4 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 3, 2021
3 min read
Image of a sad girl in the shadows
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Child Abuse Cases Got More Severe During COVID-19. Could Teachers Have Prevented It?
A study finds that the severity of identified child abuse cases grew during the pandemic, even as reports of abuse declined.
Sarah D. Sparks, June 1, 2021
3 min read
Mashea Ashton, principal and founder of Digital Pioneers Academy, drops in to different Zoom classes to see how students and teachers are doing.
Mashea Ashton, the principal and founder of Digital Pioneers Academy, drops in on a Zoom class. New research shows ways teachers can build better bonds with students online.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Getting Face Time With Students May Be More Important Than You Think
There's a good reason for teachers and students to keep their cameras on in class, a new neuroscience study suggests.
Sarah D. Sparks, May 28, 2021
3 min read
Herriman cheerleaders carry the American flag before the start of a high school football game against Davis, on Aug. 13, 2020, in Herriman, Utah. Utah went forward with high school football this fall despite concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that led other states and many college football conferences to postpone games in hopes of instead playing in the spring.
Cheerleaders carry the American flag before the start of a high school football game last year in Herriman, Utah. Utah's Test-to-Play program required students and staff participating in extracurricular activities like cheerleading to regularly undergo testing for COVID-19.
Rick Bowmer/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Strict COVID-19 Testing Can Keep Extracurriculars Going, CDC Finds
New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds Utah's coronavirus testing prevented outbreaks following sports events.
Sarah D. Sparks, May 21, 2021
3 min read
Jennifer Becker, right, Science Teacher at the Sinaloa Middle School, talks to one of her students in Novato, Calif. on March 2, 2021.
Jennifer Becker, right, a teacher at Sinaloa Middle School, wears a mask to stem the spread of coronavirus as she talks with a student earlier this year in Novato, Calif.
Haven Daily/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Masks, Tracking, Desk Shields: How Much Do School Measures Reduce Families' COVID-19 Risk?
A new study pinpoints the most effective mitigation measures and suggests that the more of them schools use, the better.
Sarah D. Sparks, May 11, 2021
5 min read
Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening on Aug. 26, 2020, in New York.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening earlier this school year.
Bebeto Matthews/AP
School & District Management What the Research Says High Costs, Outdated Infrastructure Hinder Districts' Air-Quality Efforts
A national survey finds the pandemic has led districts to update schools' ventilation systems, but their options are limited.
Sarah D. Sparks, May 5, 2021
3 min read
Silhouette of group of students with data overlay.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Special Education What the Research Says Gifted Education Comes Up Short for Low-Income and Black Students
Wildly disparate gifted education programs can give a minor boost in reading, but the benefits mainly accrue to wealthy and white students.
Sarah D. Sparks, April 23, 2021
8 min read