American Institutes for Research Launches Longitudinal Database to Support Research on the Pandemic and Educational Equity

Project also funds and builds partnerships to foster and expand research on elementary and secondary education before, during and after COVID-19

Arlington, Va. - The American Institutes for Research (AIR) has launched a new database that will facilitate research on the COVID-19 pandemic, educational outcomes, and the pursuit of equity in communities around the country. The COVID-19 Longitudinal Deep Dive Database draws from datasets across multiple sectors and will allow researchers to capture a broad view of trends before, during, and after the pandemic.

The database covers six states—California, Florida, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Washington—and includes information from 16 public-facing and restricted datasets related to education, health, housing, social services, employment and technology access. Users can search and browse through over 30,000 variables and currently download data from 2016 to 2021, with plans to add data through 2024. The data can be visualized through built-in mapping and graphing features, and researchers can create comparisons across state, district, school, county and census tracts to explore pressing questions about the disparate outcomes during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 Longitudinal Deep Dive Database provides a rich foundation for rigorous research into education, equity and the pandemic," said Michael Garet, an AIR Vice President and Institute Fellow. "We look forward to partnering with researchers, community leaders and educators to generate evidence that will help us better understand how the pandemic response is related to outcomes for students and help policymakers and educational leaders make informed decisions about recovery."

The database was created as a part of AIR's COVID-19 and Equity in Education (CEE) project, which is jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the AIR Equity Initiative, AIR's five-year $100+ million commitment to generating and using research that addresses systemic inequity. The CEE project seeks to promote, expand and enhance new and existing research, and empower communities and researchers to use data and research to improve outcomes for students, with a focus on the trajectories of Black and Latino/a students and those experiencing poverty. In addition to creating the longitudinal database, AIR's CEE project also includes:

  • A national network of research-practice partnerships (RPP) in select communities serving a high percentage of Black and Latino/a students, or students experiencing poverty. Each RPP includes a partnership between a local researcher, one or more school districts, and community representatives to design and carry out a community-led research project. AIR staff provide one-on-one support, guidance, and start-up funding, as well as opportunities to engage with and learn across the network.
  • A community of researchers focused on resilience, community, and equity in education in the context of the pandemic. Designed to include both established and emerging scholars conducting research on COVID-19 and equity in education, the community will include annual convenings, opportunities for researchers exploring similar questions in a variety of local contexts to network and collaborate, and access to online forums and frameworks for evidence use.
  • A series of research mini grants aimed at supporting emerging scholars, especially researchers who are underrepresented in the education research arena. Awards provide $5,000-$25,000 stipends to encourage and support research studies focused on COVID-19 and equity in education. The first two mini grants were awarded in January. Applications for a second round of grants are now being accepted (PDF), with further awards to be announced in the spring.

About AIR
Established in 1946, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health and the workforce. AIR's work is driven by its mission to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. With headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR has offices across the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit

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