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Task Force for Learning Acceleration

In May, DESE empaneled the Task Force for Learning Acceleration, made up of education stakeholders from across Missouri, to address the sweeping impact of extended school closures in spring 2020.  Members of the task force worked collaboratively to develop recommendations and tools that address assessment of learning loss, acceleration of learning and reaching all students.  Find the recommendations and resources prepared by the task force here.

Recommendations and Resources

Background

DESE is committed to supporting students and educators in Missouri as they prepare for the next school next year. Extended school closures in 2019-20 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a number of challenges and questions for districts.  Of pressing concern is understanding the impact of school closures on learning and most importantly, ensuring opportunities for recovery of student learning. It is widely recognized that acceleration of learning must take place in order for this to happen. Although the system-wide school closure this year was unique, analysis of other school disruptions (hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, etc.) indicate that educators should expect to implement multi-year strategies to address recovery of student learning.  Members in this task force were asked to play a key role in statewide support for learning recovery by providing advice and recommendations to DESE on issues related to accelerating learning for students in 2020 and beyond.

The task force divided its discussions among three workgroups:

  1. Assessment of Learning Loss - This group provided recommendations for assessing learning loss as a result of the extended school closures in spring 2020. Discussions included instructional progress, variances in local pacing, systemic sources of data and formative assessment tools.
  2. Acceleration of Learning – This group provided recommendations for accelerating learning with a focus on the 2020-21 school year.  Discussions included lessons learned and evidence-based strategies for learning acceleration, such as the identification of the most important learning standards that are prerequisites for future learning and the use of available assessment data.
  3. Reaching all Students – This group provided recommendations for reaching all students with strategies to accelerate learning. Its discussions focused on equity, meeting the needs of Missouri’s most vulnerable, economically challenged students, students in the primary grades, and responses to the social-emotional needs of students and educators.
Dates Large and Breakout Workgroup Presentations
June 24, 2020
June 17, 2020
June 10, 2020
June 3, 2020
May 26, 2020

Task Force Members

Workgroup Resources