Events | Coronavirus

Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Major Challenges to U.S. Students and Teachers—and Exacerbates Existing Education Inequities: A plan for relief, recovery, and rebuilding

Date: September 16, 2020

As students return to school, whether virtual or in class, there is more we need to understand and think through if we are to meet the COVID-19 crisis head on and deal with the consequences of the interruption and disruptions to learning that the pandemic has imposed on the education system.

According to a recently released report from the Economic Policy Institute – COVID-19 and student performance, equity, and U.S. education policy: Lessons from pre-pandemic research to inform relief, recovery, and rebuilding – it will be critical to identify:

  • which students are struggling most and how much learning and development they have lost out on,
  • which factors are impeding their learning, and which ones are preventing teachers from teaching these children,
  • and which investments must be made to address the negative consequences of COVID-19 on education performance and equity and to rebuild stronger.

EPI’s report offers insights on what to expect based on research into a host of factors leading to disruptions in learning, including summer learning losses and chronic absenteeism, as well as education in other emergencies. The report draws on the reviews to offer a three-pronged plan for schools and the U.S. education system: immediate relief, short-term recovery, and long-term rebuilding.

Join us for a discussion, including opening remarks from Randi Weingarten, the president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, about the state of COVID-19 and education and what needs to be done now to support educators and mitigate the damage to student performance, especially the most vulnerable children. We will talk to Ivey Welshans, a teacher in Philadelphia, for a reality check on the challenges on the ground.


Opening remarks:
Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

Emma García, economist, Economic Policy Institute
Elaine Weiss, research associate, Economic Policy Institute
Ivey Welshans, teacher, Middle Years Alternative School in Philadelphia

Thea Lee, president, Economic Policy Institute

What: Panel discussion on COVID-19 and its impact on student learning and what needs to be done to create a real plan for relief, recovery and rebuilding.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 16
4 p.m.—5 p.m ET / 1 p.m—2 p.m. PT

Where: Zoom, YouTube

Follow the hashtag: #COVID19andEducation during the event.

RSVP for the event


EPI will be live-streaming this event on YouTube on Sept. 16 starting at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. Just click on the video below at that time.