Remediation vs. Acceleration Knowledge Drop

In order to engage with this month’s topic focus, our group decided to pull together a few important articles to ensure that our readers have a baseline understanding of the tension between remediation vs. acceleration. While there is a myriad of resources out there, our team felt that the following four provided an important mixture of different perspectives and framing for the ensuing topic.

  1. Christensen Institute Chelsea White, intern at the Christensen Institute highlights three areas for focus as districts and schools prepare for the 2021–2022 school year. These include focus on students and their time spent learning, focus on students and a whole child approach to data and the semantic distinction and therefore methodological difference between remediation and acceleration.
  2. Beth Hawkins highlights the distinct difference that Zearn is looking to demonstrate with a focus on acceleration versus remediation for key skills. There is strong advocacy from Zearn and TNTP for acceleration given their finding: “that pupils in classrooms where acceleration was used for addressing early pandemic learning losses not only completed more grade-level lessons than their peers, they mostly regained their pre-pandemic success”
  3. Andrew Myers looks at the recommendations of David Steiner for addressing learning loss from the pandemic. We know that students will have gaps in knowledge from students in previous years. “Steiner argues that the solution is not to “teach again” the material that students haven’t learned. Instead, he recommends looking forward to what those students will need to know to succeed the next day or the next week and focusing solely on those skills — a strategy known as acceleration.”
  4. TNTP released this publication at the end of May 2021. It was a driver for the focus of this month’s articles, interview, and commentary. We encourage educators in all roles to explore the report and its key findings:
  • “Students who experienced learning acceleration struggled less and learned more than students who started at the same level but experienced remediation instead.
  • Students of color and those from low-income backgrounds were more likely than their white, wealthier peers to experience remediation — even when they had already demonstrated success on grade-level content.
  • Learning acceleration was particularly effective for students of color and those from low-income families.”



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