WACO, TX — Last year's nationwide school shutdowns and this year's Winter Storm Uri in Texas placed many students outside of their typical learning environments and even paused learning for some time.
Looking at just summer learning loss alone every year, without health or weather related crises breaks on schooling, student testing scores decline every summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning, significantly for math rather than reading; this loss increases at every higher grade level, according to research by The Brookings Institution.
An analysis by Curriculum Associates Research Brief, a curriculum and testing developer used by 30 percent of students in K–8 nationwide, found that last spring's school shutdowns negatively affected students moving into 2020s fall semester.
A larger portion of students placed lower in mathematics than reading, with 29 percent of students coming in below grade level for math from the historically 23 percent average, according to the Curriculum Associates research.
Looking at in-person versus remote, the study also looked at the performances between students who participated in remote learning versus students who attended the fall semester in-person; to see what room for improvement the hybrid model adopted by many schools allowed.
Students in elementary school grades one through five who completed math and reading at-home or remotely outperformed students who were learning in-person, according to the Curriculum Associates analysis.
The data did not explore whether this is because of the additional access, support, and time they had from parents or other sources.