Archive for the ‘Covid – Learning Loss’ Category

More re: Covid learning loss

November 21, 2022

More research calibrates the problem.

We previously posted that…

According to The Nation’s Report Card the pandemic school shutdowns took a near catastrophic toll … especially in math.

Pre-Covid, over 42% of 4th graders were considered proficient in math; that percentage slid to  36% during the Covid shut downs.

Similarly, pre-Covid, over 34% of 8th graders were considered proficient in math; that percentage slid to 26% during the Covid shut downs.

All of those numbers are pretty dismal.


Moving the ball forward…

Researchers at Harvard and Stanford used the latest The Nation’s Report Card results to analyze the achievement drop in different school districts nationwide. Source: WSJ

As expected, there was a correlation between learning loss and the length of school shutdowns.

But, the learning loss was far greater than expected in poorer school districts (think: urban public school districts) than in better-to-do school districts (think: suburban public & private schools).

Said differently, evidence confirmed that poor children disproportionately suffered from pandemic-era disruptions.

In (poor) districts where 69% or more of students received lunch subsidies, children lost the equivalent of two-thirds of a year of math between 2019 and 2022.

In comparison, in (richer) districts where only 39% or fewer got free or reduced lunch, students fell less than half a year behind.

A case on point:

Falls Church City Public Schools is the second-most affluent district in Virginia, with an average household income of nearly $147,000.

There students fell less than 0.3 of a grade level behind in math.

In Richmond City Public Schools, where 93% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch,  children fell 1.96 grade levels behind.


My Takeaways

> Reconfirmation that learning loss from Covid shutdowns “statistically” significant … as “little” as about 1/2 year in “richer” districts … up to 2 years in “poorer” districts”

> Concern that, while some parents are supplementing the schools with tutoring, etc., I’m still having a hard time hearing about or seeing any substantial, broadscale catch-up programs in our schools.


Geez, even our lowly #27 worldwide ranking in academics is at risk… there’s lip service … the problem sure doesn’t seem top of mind.

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