The loss of pandemic studies for California students is increasing

It is no secret that distance learning brings more distance to California students than studying during long-term closures of COVID schools.

But the impact of months of separation from teachers and classrooms and challenges ahead is only to be noticed.

A new analysis of test results showed that California high school students dropped slightly below English levels during the 2020-21 school year, when most public schools were closed due to a pandemic. It’s not optimal, but in the circumstances, it’s not surprising. Student test scores had risen in the five years before the pandemic, so with a little focus on reading and writing, students could regain lost positions.

Mathematics, on the other hand, was a disaster.

According to an analysis published by EdSource, a non-profit news organization that reports on California schools, eighth-graders averaged fifth-graders for math skills in the 2021 Smarter Balanced state test.

“Many still had to learn how to divide fractions, ratios, and analyze balanced relationships,” wrote David Wakein, an education consultant who helped the National Association of Governors develop Common Core standards, college and career readiness standards for reading and reading. mathematics is used in California and 40 other states.

The math results are partly worrying because this group of students was already a year behind the class level before COVID. Now high school students, they have a steeper hill if they want to go in competitive high-paying fields like science, technology and engineering – key pillars of California’s 21st century economy.

Getting to the 2025 Class will not be easy, but if they don’t, they will suffer permanent damage, which will have a complex impact across the U.S. economy.

Rick Hanuszek, a senior fellow at Hoover University at Stanford University, told EdSource that the loss of COVID training could cost these students between 6% and 9% of their lifetime income, which in turn could reduce the country’s GDP by 3% to 4%.

When the overall results were released in January, which showed that less than half of primary and secondary school students met English language standards at the grade level and a third of them met grade-level mathematics standards, state education authorities noted, that only 1 in 4 students in grades 3 through eight and 11 in 2021 received Smarter Balanced tests.

Less participation is likely to distort the results. There is no doubt that a year or more of separation and Zoom study will hurt students, especially the youngest children. But the risks are too high to record unfavorable scores as unfounded and hopefully a better result next year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a significant increase in K-12 funding in his budget proposal for his fiscal year, which begins July 1, and state lawmakers are considering a block grant program to promote the training and mentoring of math and science teachers. In anticipation of these additional resources, it is not yet time for school districts to think about summer school, expanding learning and adding classroom aids to help students make up for lost learning with difficulty.

These young people are the next generation of artisans and entrepreneurs, teachers and community leaders in California. Their lives were changed by COVID. We can’t let them get behind us.

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