What is EdImpact?
As Massachusetts students, teachers, administrators, and families face multiple years filled with uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government made an unprecedented $2.9 billion investment in the recovery and redesign of our schools. Communities across the Commonwealth want to know how these funds are being spent, and educators and district leaders want to ensure they support improvement efforts that are sustainable. If spending is aligned with evidence-based strategies to drive equitable access and opportunity for all students, this unprecedented federal investment has the potential to dramatically accelerate learning, catalyze innovation and support students' holistic growth and development. But how will we know if it makes an impact?
The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, the CERES Institute for Children & Youth at Boston University Wheelock College, Education Resource Strategies (ERS), and Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) have teamed up to launch the EdImpact Research Consortium, an initiative designed to support evidence-based spending, analyze the impact of COVID recovery funds, and provide a platform for the field to learn from one another and reflect on progress made. Oftentimes, research organizations operate in silos, conducting analyses and producing resources that potentially duplicate each other’s efforts. Through this partnership, the consortium will offer a one-stop shop of supports for educators, students, and families; research on the most pressing issues of the day; and events for stakeholders across the Commonwealth to analyze and demystify COVID recovery fund expenditures.
How does EdImpact work?
The Consortium is focused on a strategy in six parts to support the field in understanding COVID recovery funds in Massachusetts. Our goal is to provide the field with timely and relevant analysis on how funds are being allocated and recommendations based on evidence and best practices for how these funds could be most impactful in the long run.
EdImpact will create a data dashboard that will track how ESSER funds are being spent across districts in Massachusetts and eventually analyze their impact. The dashboard will be set up to help stakeholders understand the top areas of expenditure across communities, including the percent of districts’ funds that are going to instructional salaries, technology, and contracted professional development.
The Consortium plans to release a series of research briefs focused on how schools/districts can maximize the impact of ESSER funds to accelerate learning, catalyze innovation, and support students' holistic growth and development. In addition to new research, we will create a resource toolbox to collect and share tools, templates, and other resources, pulling from the field’s robust community of experts, that support the design and implementation of effective practices.
The Consortium will provide implementation support for Massachusetts districts, supporting leaders to make evidence-based spending decisions, monitor the effectiveness of ESSER-funded programs, and adjust programming based upon district- and school-level data.
The Consortium will also analyze the impact of ESSER investments on schools, with spotlights on investments that proved particularly impactful. This research will be designed to provide insight on how to sustain/scale these efforts over the long term.
Finally, the Consortium will host a series of convenings focused on high-impact ESSER investments. In addition to sharing Consortium-sponsored events, EdImpact will promote events happening around the state focused on COVID recovery.