At the moment, students are just over halfway through the 2022-23 academic year. But academically, they’re still stuck in 2021.
New federal data released by the National Center for Education statistics on Thursday reveal that nearly half of all students (49%) began this school year one year behind grade level in at least one subject, according to public school leaders. The data were collected from more than 1,000 participating public schools in December of 2022. Nearly every school that reported having students that were behind academically cited English (99%) or math (99%) as the most common subjects students are struggling in. The findings are similar to last year’s, according to NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr.
“Both this school year and last school year, public school leaders estimated that about half of their students began the school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject,” she said in a statement. “These data suggest that academic recovery will take time. Additional data show that public schools are employing a combination of learning recovery strategies to help get back on track.”
One of the most common intervention strategies used by public schools is tutoring. 83% of all public schools reported providing some type of tutoring, including high-dosage tutoring (37%), standard tutoring (59%) and self-paced tutoring (22%).
Additionally, the vast majority of schools are back to full in-person instruction since the pandemic. While 99% of all public schools offered in-person learning, only 14% provided full-time remote instruction and a mere 5% offered hybrid learning. Most notably, there is a clear indication that the dismissal of COVID regulations from the CDC led to a decent amount of student quarantines in the fall of 2022. More than one-third (36%) of all public schools reported having to quarantine students (an increase from 30% in November of 2022), and 27% had to quarantine staff members, compared to 18% in November.
According to Mark Schneider, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, district leaders should use this vital research to shape their policy-making in the near future.
“The School Pulse Panel is an innovative and valuable tool in understanding how the pandemic has affected the condition of education,” he said in a statement. “NCES and IES are committed to collecting high quality to inform education policy and improve practices in support of learning recovery.”
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