COVID Learning Loss in Math Hits Hard in Grades 4–8
- By Dian Schaffhauser
on the scope of learning loss during the pandemic has a new addition.
Education technology company Illuminate
examined assessments done by students who use its programs and found
"modest reading losses" in grades K-8, "modest math"
losses in the early elementary grades and "substantial math
losses" in grades 4-8. These came about, the research suggested,
as a result of COVID-19 disruptions, including delayed school
openings, changes in instructional format, lack of universal access
to technology, the "ramp up" to distance learning and
"compromised" student engagement.
used data from a national sample of students who took assessments in
aReading and aMath during fall 2020 and compared that to a baseline
of "annual gains" data developed from a million previous
fall screenings dating back to fall 2016.
to a report of the results, in reading, the average annual growth
score dropped, especially for grades 1, 3 and 6. In math, the results
were similar, but the loss was "much more significant" in
the higher grades.
terms of monthly growth rate, the data showed that for students in
grades 5 and 6, the loss equated to about two to three months for
reading. For math, in grades 5 through 8 losses ranged from three to
four months. To make those losses up, according to the report,
students would need to grow at almost twice the annual rate for the
same number of months.
data show that we've reached a critical point. If we don't place
greater emphasis on remedying losses now, achievement gaps are likely
to widen later," said John Bielinski, senior director of
research & development at Illuminate, in a statement. "Through
regular screening, support, and practice, we can work to ensure
students aren't left behind."
summary of the results is available with registration on
the FastBridge website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.