Nov 26, 2021
Remote Learning Lowered Test Scores in Every State Surveyed, Disproportionately Affected Minorities
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moreby Kendall Tietz
Remote learning led to declines in test scores in English and math when compared to the scores of schools that had more in-person learning, according to a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic forced many schools to close in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, but many schools remained closed throughout the 2020-2021 school year.According to new research from the NBER, remote learning had a negative impact on students’ test scores in English language arts (ELA) and math in all 12 states studied. Declines in scores were smaller for students who continued in-person learning.
“Our research shows that test score losses are significantly larger in districts with less in-person learning,” Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University, told Yahoo News. “This suggests, yes, that virtual learning was — and is — less effective than in-person learning, at least as measured by school-based testing.”
“Passing rates in math declined by 14.2 percentage points on average; we estimate this decline was 10.1 percentage points smaller for districts fully in-person,” the study found.
The research combined “district-level schooling mode data from the 2020-21 school year,” “district-level test score data from 2015 to 2021” and “demographic data from the NCES,” according to the study. The data was collected among students in third to eighth grades in 12 states across the U.S.: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Changes in ELA were smaller than math scores overall, but drops in scores were greater in districts with larger black and hispanic populations and students eligible for free and reduced lunch prices.
Districts that have a larger share of black and hispanic students and less in-person schooling also saw a greater decline in ELA test scores than those with more in-person schooling.
“Although the impact of schooling mode on ELA is fairly small for districts which are majority white, it is large for those districts with a majority of students of color,” the study concluded. “Meanwhile, the impact of access to in-person learning had a similar effect on math scores for all districts, regardless of their racial composition.”
The declines in scores also varied by state. In Virginia, for example, which had the most completely virtual learning time, along with Colorado, saw an almost 32% drop on math test scores in the 2020-21 school year when compared to the 2018-19 school year.
Wyoming, on the other hand, which had the most in-person learning, along with Florida, saw just a 2.3% drop in English, the study found.
“It was very unfortunate this this discussion fell so strongly along political lines, rather than focusing on whether schools could be opened safely and how,” Oster told Yahoo News. “In hindsight, I think the biggest issue was simply not making schools and children a priority.”
Oster did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Kendall Tietz is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
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9,909 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks
BOSTON (CBS) – There were 9,909 coronavirus cases among students and staff in Massachusetts schools in the last two weeks, according to the latest data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Schools reported 8,513 cases among students and 1,396 among staff between November 18 to December 1. The overall percentage of kids who tested positive during this time frame was 0.93%, while 1.0% of staff tested positive.READ MORE: Boston Police Warn About Drinks Being Drugged At Bars
Due to Thanksgiving, case numbers from the week of November 18-24 were released Thursday along with numbers from November 25-December 1.
Here were the case numbers in the previous weeks between students and staff across the Commonwealth:
- November 11-17: 3,815 cases (3,257 kids, 558 staff)
- November 4-10: 3,021 cases (2,640 kids, 381 staff)
- October 29-November 3: 3,963 cases (3,381 kids, 582 staff)
The state estimates there are about 920,000 students in classrooms in Massachusetts public schools and 140,000 staff working in-person this school year.
Many schools have started sending notices to parents warning them about a surge in cases following Thanksgiving, including in Wilmington where 40 students have tested positive this week, most of them in elementary school.
Melrose parent Felicity Shields has two kids in elementary school. Both had COVID a year ago and she’s hoping they can stay healthy as they wait one more week for their second shots.READ MORE: AJ Quetta Returns To Bishop Feehan As Assistant Coach, 10 Months After Severe Injury
“I’m just hanging onto the whole house will be fully vaccinated by Christmas,” Shields said. “My heart bleeds for anyone with kids under the age of five now.”
She knows her kids will be OK, but still as a mom — she worries.
“With a new variant coming out and like I said the anniversary of it hitting my house coming up, my anxiety is up here right now and that’s the problem. I’m anxious. I’m miserable,” Shields said.
Parents have heard it before, but again, doctors say the vaccines are the best tool available to keep kids in the classroom.
“There’s a balance and we’re walking that fine line of keeping kids in school, trying to keep them getting their education which is so critical and keeping everyone safe,” said Dr. Robyn Riseberg of Boston Community Pediatrics.MORE NEWS: Wakefield Schools Warns Of Fake Email About School Bus Service
For the district breakdown on coronavirus cases, visit the DESE website.