New Test Scores Show Learning Gaps

As most parents already know too well, last year’s learning disruptions caused significant problems for CT students. According to the Hartford Courant, an Aug. 31 State Dept of Education report revealed that students attending remote classes, either through a hybrid model or entirely remotely, lost ground.

The Smarter Balanced Test, administered this year between late March and early June, showed that students who attended class entirely in person did the best. (Some private schools did not close.) About 60% of these students met the state standard in English Language Arts. In contrast, 46% of students attending a hybrid model and 36% of students who attended exclusively through remote learning met the standard for the 2020-21 school year. By comparison, in 2018-19, 55% of all CT students met the benchmark. (No tests were administered in 2019-20.)

Students generally do better in ELA than in math. Last year, 52% of students who attended in person met the state math standard, but only 34% of hybrid students and 23% of remote students were able to do so. In 2018-19, 48% of all CT students met the math standard.

 Disruptions and cancellations, along with remote learning challenges that began in March 2020 have had a lasting negative effect for many. This year, school systems will do their best to implement innovations that allow students to catch up. Research shows that intensive, skillful tutoring can be effective in closing learning gaps, especially when delivered in a just-in-time fashion that is coordinated with classroom teaching.

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