The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has requested emergency Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance to conduct a School Pulse Survey that will produce information on how schools, students, and educators are responding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey, which COSSA and other stakeholders have advocated for, is intended to comply with President Biden’s day-one executive order on school reopening, which requires the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), NCES’s home agency, to facilitate “the collection of data necessary to fully understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and educators, including data on the status of in-person learning.” NCES began collecting this information using the existing sample for the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) 2021 School Survey, but now proposes to continue the effort as a standalone activity. This will allow NCES to continue to collect information on topics such as instructional mode offered; enrollment counts of subgroups of students using various instructional modes; learning loss mitigation strategies; safe and healthy school mitigation strategies; special education services; use of technology; use of federal relief funds; and information on staffing.
Because this data is considered both time-sensitive and high-priority, IES is seeking an abbreviated emergency clearance process before beginning preliminary activities. However, the public has until July 12 to comment on the proposal. More information is available in the Federal Register notice. NCES will also release an additional request for public comment concurrent with data collection for the survey.