A new analysis of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on students’ academic growth shows that, among students in general, remote learning has had little impact on reading growth while students performed about 5-10 percentile points lower in math than a comparison group before the pandemic — what the researchers describe as a “moderate” decrease.
Black and Latino students and students from poorer communities, however, saw a slight decline in both math and reading.
“It’s a reason for concern and it’s a reason to really focus our attention on helping catch kids up,” said senior research scientist Megan Kuhfeld, the lead author of the study by the nonprofit testing group NWEA, formerly the Northwest Evaluation Association.
The study was limited by the fact that 1 in 4 students who typically take the NWEA’s widely used Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment in the fall didn’t take it this year.
NWEA said those students were more likely to be from “marginalized communities.”
NWEA assessed 4.4 million U.S. students in 3rd through 8th grades during the fall of 2020.
NPR, Dec. 1
NBC News, Dec. 1