MSU’s third report on “pandemic studies” shows lower student progress in 2020-2021 | MSUToday

A new report from Michigan State University provides more information about the impact of the pandemic and academic-related disruptions on Michigan students.

The report showed that growth in achievement slowed during the 2020-2021 school year, and fewer Michigan students in the fall of 2021 than expected before the pandemic. This is not just for Michigan, but other findings repeat studies in U.S. districts and states that consistently show average and less than the usual increase in performance compared to similar students expected before the pandemic.

This is the third in a series of reports from MSU Innovative cooperation in education policy, or EPIC, a strategic research partner of the Michigan Department of Education or MDE. This report includes the new results of the student exam scores from the fall of the 2021-22 academic year to update previous analyzes and continue to monitor student progress.

For the first time in 2020-21, a comparative assessment such as the NWEA MAP Growth assessment – a test used by most Michigan school districts – was required by the state as part of the “Back to Learning” law. Tests such as the MAP NWEA were given at least twice a year to measure student progress toward academic goals.

This latest report examines how student achievement trends in Michigan compare to national or state trends prior to the pandemic, whether students have made progress toward growth goals, and to what extent achievement trends differ in student groups.

To answer these questions, the EPIC used kindergarten to eighth grade math and assessment data from the fall of 2021 and, if available, data from previous test scores from the 2020-2021 school year. The analysis includes the results of a comparative assessment of approximately 750,000 Michigan kindergartens for eighth-graders in 735 school districts.

In the fall of 2020, Michigan students were close to pre-pandemic numbers. This suggests that although students experienced serious obstacles in their education in the early stages of the pandemic in late spring 2020, they still performed as well in the fall of 2020 as students who took a test before the pandemic.

However, by the fall of 2021, Michigan students tend to score from pre-pandemic levels in most classes, a trend that is more evident in math than reading. Three-quarters of Michigan students showed growth from fall 2020 to fall 2021, but at a slower pace than before the pandemic.

Student growth targets show average growth for students who achieved pre-pandemic. In a typical year, approximately 50% of students are expected to achieve these growth goals. However, only 40% of students achieved their goals from the fall of 2020 to the fall of 2021.


Most importantly, 24% did not show any increase, i.e. their scores did not decrease or change from the fall of 2020 to the fall of 2021.

“Despite the hard work and in many cases the heroic work of students, faculty and community members, the disruption of the pandemic has had a negative impact on students scientifically, socially, emotionally and physically,” said President Dr. Michael Rice. “As we begin to better fund schools and expand to better support students, we need to fill gaps and address delays or cancellations in the last two years. This is especially important and should be aimed specifically at students who graduated from distance learning last year at the discretion of the district or the choice of their parents. ”

Long-term deficits of racial and socio-economic gains remained until the 2021-2022 academic year, but did not increase during the pandemic. The difference is greater among primary school students (third to fifth grades) and then secondary school students (sixth to eighth grades).

On average, black students scored between 15 and 22 percent of white students ’math scores, while Latino / a / x students scored between 30 and 32 percent and Asian students scored between 67 and 76 percent.

Economically vulnerable students scored an average of 18 to 25 percent of students who were not economically vulnerable. These shortcomings of achievement are a matter of serious concern, but not new; they are comparable in size to the gaps in achievement in the M-STEP and PSAT Michigan assessments for 2018-2019.

The report shows that students who worked part-time in the districts in the 2020-2021 academic year had less progress than students who worked part-time in the districts. Mathematical and reading intervals for students in districts that were fully private during the year or part of a hybrid year were typically smaller than intervals for students in remote areas throughout the year. This suggests that access to a limited amount of personal tutoring was beneficial to students and that the impact of disruptive learning increased over time. The distances between spring 2021 and autumn 2021 have narrowed, which may indicate that students who received fewer private lessons in 2020-21 are now catching up with their peers as most of their districts have resumed private education.

according to Catherine StrunkEPIC director and Clifford Erickson, a prominent professor of education policy at MSU College of Education, say the findings provide important information as we tackle the academic impact of the pandemic on Michigan students.

“The most interesting finding from this report is that the vast majority of students did not show any academic achievement during the 2020-21 academic year, at least in terms of their comparative assessment,” Strunk said. “These kids aren’t just‘ getting over time ’. We need direct investment to focus on these specific students so they can recover from the pandemic.

“The legislature’s requirement for a comparative assessment of students allowed us to understand how the level of learning differed between groups of students and to determine if a significant group of students did not progress during the year.” Strank said. “Continuing to track student progress will be mandatory so that resources are directed to students in need.”

Researchers warn that all of these results should be placed on the basis of incomplete data to analyze student learning during a pandemic. The level of participation in the comparative assessment was lower than in the final tests at the end of the year in the years before the pandemic, especially for kindergartens. Furthermore, the number of students who participated in this assessment did not reflect the total number of Michigan students. In addition, comparative assessment is only an indicator of student learning and well-being. EPIC will continue this line of research by studying both district examples and additional data analysis when the spring test scores of 2022 are available after the end of the school year.

Media Note: Please refer to the full report on this page https://epicedpolicy.org/k-8-student-achievement-and-achievement-gaps-on-michigans-2020-21-benchmark-and-summative-assessments/

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