Report: Pandemic Learning Loss Not as Bad as Feared
Review of testing data by NWEA Research shows the shift to virtual classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impacts on learning, but not to the extent that many feared.
The report, Learning during COVID-19: Initial findings on students’ reading and math achievement and growth, offers some solace as more school districts switch to distance learning amid a third coronavirus wave.
Reductions in performance that did occur were concentrated in mathematics, not reading.
“In fall of 2020, students in grades 3–8 performed similarly in reading to same-grade students in fall 2019, but about 5 to 10 percentile points lower in math,” according to the findings. “This fall, students scored better than NWEA’s projections in reading, while math scores were in line with our projections for grades 4–6 and slightly above our projections in grades 7–8.”
Overall, the researchers said the negative impacts were less extensive than they expected. There are some important caveats, however. Students in the most vulnerable groups were most likely to be missed by the researchers, which may have skewed the findings somewhat.
Read the report here.