More and more students start the school year late
Data shows pandemic does not affect all students equally or to the same degree
BILLERIQUE DU NORD, Mass., November 4, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Fewer elementary and high school students have started the 2021 school year at the grade level for reading and math, according to a new report released today by Curriculum Associates. The report, Understanding student learning: perspectives for fall 2021, analyzes the data collected from the company edtech I-Ready Assessment tool on learning to read and math with three million students in grades 1 to 8 over the past two years. The report provides new insight into student learning trends, quantifies the impact of prolonged school breaks on unfinished learning, and highlights the disproportionate impact on the country’s most vulnerable students. Data from Curriculum Associates examines students against academic benchmarks of learning, rather than against other students, so that it provides a single view of learning rather than ranking.
Fewer elementary and middle school students are starting the 2021 school year reading and doing math at the school level than in the three years before the pandemic.
○ Compared to historical averages, fewer second and third graders were at grade level in reading (six and five percentage points lower, respectively), and many more students performed below grade level ( nine and seven more points, respectively).
The majority of students have experienced academic setbacks, but the pandemic is not affecting all students equally.
Students who were already behind in reading and math before the pandemic have experienced the most unfinished learning.
○ The percentage of older students (i.e. Grades 4-8) who are in school is close to pre-pandemic levels.
Fewer students are ready to acquire sophisticated math skills, and more unfinished business in Grades 4-6.
○ Fewer fifth-grade students were performing at grade level in fall 2021 (10 percentage points lower), with more students below grade (10 percentage points above).
Unfinished learning is more important for black and Latino students in reading and math than for white students.
○ Schools serving the majority of black and Latino students saw almost double the amount of unfinished learning in third-grade reading and math than schools serving predominantly white students. The percentage of third-graders who are not in grade school in schools with predominantly black students increased by 17 percentage points, compared to six points in schools serving predominantly white students. In schools serving predominantly Latino students, the percentage of late students increased by 14 percentage points.
○ The third year is a critical year for literacy, as children at this age are still learning to read, while from the fourth year onwards, students read to learn. This amount of unfinished learning for students of color is an urgent call for intervention.
○ Other grade levels experienced unfinished learning that matched these trends, but not on the same scale as the early years.
Unfinished learning is more important for students in low-income communities than for students in high-income communities.
○ Uncompleted third-grade reading learning increased by six percentage points in low-income schools, compared to four percentage points in high-income schools. Declines in third-grade math were even observed across all income groups.
“Associated with study programs” I-Ready Assessment is used by more than 25% of students in grades 1-8 in the country, ”said Kristen huff, vice president of evaluation and research at Curriculum Associates. “These student learning assessments provide insight into what millions of students experience in their classrooms and on their learning journeys across the country and in all different types of schools and communities. “
Research shows that unfinished learning occurs in every grade of elementary and middle school in reading and math. Students who have entered the pandemic at the greatest risk are most at risk of not catching up after 18 months of disruption. Black and Latino students, who are more likely to attend schools in lower-income neighborhoods than white students, and those who were already two or more levels behind experienced the biggest setbacks.
The news isn’t all bad: the report shows positive changes since last fall, with performance in some subjects and grade levels starting to recover to pre-pandemic levels. It should be noted that the percentage of grade-level students reading in Grades 4-8 is only a percentage point lower than pre-pandemic levels.
“This report provides an overview of where students are in their own learning in order to be ready to undertake grade-level work and stay on track for high school graduation and preparation for college. university “, said Tyrone holmes, Head of Inclusion at Curriculum Associates. “By disaggregating this data by grade, subject, race, ethnicity, and income level, we can better understand the details of what we already know – that existing educational inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and that some students are taking even more This data indicates where we should be investing our resources, in the students who need immediate support the most. “
Understanding student learning: perspectives for fall 2021 is the fourth in a series of research reports on unfinished learning by Curriculum Associates. To learn more about Curriculum Associates’ ongoing research into unfinished learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit CurriculumAssociates.com/UnfinishedLearning
About Curriculum Associates
Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates designs print and online research-based educational materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and exceptional customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources to teach diverse student populations and foster learning for all students.
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SOURCE Curriculum Associates, LLC