COVID-19 and Educational Inequities

In the midst of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the goal of this National Academy of Education (NAEd) project is to bring together scholars, policy leaders, and educators to address the fundamental educational challenge of our time — how do we address educational inequities in the face of the COVID-19 emergency, a challenge made even more urgent in the context of the resurgent American crisis of racial justice. Prior to COVID-19, the United States faced persistent racial disparities and increased socioeconomic disparities as measured by educational achievement testing, commonly referred to as educational achievement gaps. Gloria Ladson-Billings, the current NAEd president, has also helped our educational community to recognize these achievement gaps for what they truly are, an accumulation of “educational debt” that we as a society have a shared responsibility to address. Early research indicates that the pandemic is exacerbating these inequities.

The NAEd gathered scholars, policy leaders, and educators in a series of roundtables to discuss challenges to academic learning (specifically in reading and mathematics) and social-emotional development as well as “best bets” to advance the possibility for improved learning as the crisis continues. These discussions culminated in a Summary Report. Moreover, the NAEd is now engaging in public forums to further these discussions.

NAEd Forums on COVID-19 and Inequities in Education

Upcoming Session

Institutional Changes: The Long View

TBD. More information coming soon.


  • Michael J. Feuer (Chair), The George Washington University
  • Hyman Bass, University of Michigan
  • Dorothy Espelage, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Susanna Loeb, Brown University
  • Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, University of Michigan
  • William F. Tate IV, University of South Carolina
  • Frank Worrell, University of California, Berkeley
  • Stanton Wortham, Boston College


Amy Berman, Deputy Director

Dian Dong, Program Officer, Research

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