Coming out of Covid it is clearer than ever that education in the country isn’t what it once was. Now it’s starting to show up in the numbers.
Almost half of all all public school students in the US that entered the 2022-2023 academic year are lagging behind, according to a new report from Bloomberg, citing data from the Department of Education.
49% of students “are performing below grade level in at least one academic subject”, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics School Pulse Panel. This number has rocketed higher from its 36% average prior to the pandemic.
1,026 public schools participated in the survey.
James Fogarty, executive director of advocacy group A+ Schools, told Bloomberg: “There are ripple effects that happen that we don’t always think of. What do you do if you’re the teacher and you have 12 or 20 different kids in your class who’ve been out for the big chunks of time? How do you then readjust your curriculum?”
National Center for Education Statistics Commissioner Peggy G. Carr added in a press release: “Many students were behind grade level at the start of the current academic year, including in core academic subjects like English and mathematics.”
She continued: “These data suggest that academic recovery will take time.”
Among all subjects, English and Math were the two where students were behind by one grade level or more, the report says. Of the schools that reported students behind, 99% of them included English and Math. Science and social studies were included at 80% and 69% of schools, respectively.
Mark Schneider, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, concluded: “The School Pulse Panel is an innovative and valuable tool in understanding how the pandemic has affected the condition of education. NCES and IES are committed to collecting high quality data to inform education policy and improve practices in support of learning recovery.”