Connecticut Using Some Funding to Strengthen Evaluation, Research of Education Investments

The Connecticut State Department of Education is using reserves from its ARP and ESSER funds to establish the COVID-19 Education Research Collaborative (CCERC) to evaluate investments on an ongoing basis to determine efficacy, provide high-quality data, and guide resource decisions for the students most in need. The Connecticut COVID-19 Education Research Collaborative is a partnership with researchers from the state’s universities, including the University of Connecticut, local representatives, and educators. The collaborative is unique in that it will build strong connections between the research and Connecticut’s districts, schools, and students.

We are spotlighting this practice because the Connecticut COVID-19 Education Research Collaborative appears innovative, as it is a long-term initiative meant to utilize statewide data to track the effectiveness of programs created by recovery funding and help provide accurate and transparent information to the public.

Reviewer Analysis

The Data Quality Campaign

Connecticut’s proposed CCERC is designed to build collaborative relationships across the state, improve the availability and use of high-quality data, and guide policy decisions to support students most in need. - Rachel Anderson

The Education Trust

Connecticut’s approach to ensuring that it evaluates the impact of strategies implemented with federal relief funding is critical to ensure that funds are used in evidence-based and effective ways. It will be critical that this research consider the efficacy of strategies for individual students and underserved groups of students. - Denise Forte


It is extremely encouraging that they have a plan to utilize continuous data analysis to determine the strategies and programs that yield that most “bang for the buck” as it relates to accelerated learning for students as they return to school and our new normal. Having one central location to house all of the data to show the efficacy of each investment should prove to be an invaluable tool to help districts determine how to get the best resources to the students whose very lives depend on the quality of supports school districts provide due to learning loss. - Dr. Tequilla Brownie


Surely there are going to be lasting innovations due to pandemic learning forged through trial and error, this kind of small but mighty investment makes it likely that those gems will be noticed. - Matt Shaver

The Rural Alliance

We are encouraged by CSDEs collaborative research with P12, Higher Ed and local representatives. We are encouraged by how they will use data and the tracking of the effectiveness of different programs. With the CCERC providing information to educators to assist in their decisions for students, this collaborative actually adds time back to the educator. - Kevin Jacka

National Parents Union

This is an innovative, data driven approach to help ensure that ARP and ESSER funding is targeted to assist students with the greatest need while providing ongoing transparency.

Learning Heroes

There are a lot of investments being made to address pandemic schooling, and we would all benefit from learning what was most effective and what wasn’t. - Dr. Eyal Bergman

John White

This is great. The end result depends on how they go about all of this, of course, but the impulse to evaluate has been badly missing from the stimulus discussion.

New Leaders

This level of research, evaluation and accountability is commendable and will hopefully inform future investments and identify evidence-based best practices that can be replicated and expanded.

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