State officials discuss report on how students fared during the pandemic

State's plan to deal with pandemic learning loss
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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VERNON, CT (WFSB) - The Connecticut Department of Education released a new report Thursday, giving a glimpse at student achievement during the 2021 to 2022 school year.

The numbers show that overall student achievement still lags behind pre-pandemic levels.

But the good news is that there are some signs of learning acceleration and recovery.

“The assessment data is allowing us to evaluate the pace of our learning recovery, to identify early signs of what might be working and to further target supports where they’re needed the most,” said Department of Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker.

As families gear up for the new academic school year, we’re getting a closer look at what state assessments are showing from the 2021 to 2022 school year.

“The pandemic affected really all students and in 21-22 what we see is the achievement really lags,” said Ajit Gopalakrishnan, Chief Performance Officer with the State Department of Education.

Before the pandemic, the state Department of Education says achievement was increasing in all groups.

But achievement in the latest academic year is still below the three most recent pre-pandemic years.

“Our most acute area of challenge continues to be middle school mathematics,” said Gopalakrishnan.

Connecticut uses the performance index to measure achievement.

The data shows student proficiency declined 6 to 8 percentage points in language arts and math.

For science, student proficiency declined 4 percentage points.

“Despite those challenges the 2021-2022 results illustrate that educators in many districts and schools, are actively counteracting the negative effects of the pandemic, by implementing evidence and creative strategies to engage students and accelerate learning,” said Russell-Tucker.

As students continue to recover from disrupted learning, the state Department of Education is using state and federal resources to invest in projects like $12 million for 200 summer enrichment programs and $28 million for school mental health staff.

It’s estimated that students in grades 4 and 5 may be two to three months behind their expected performance had there not been a pandemic.

For middle schoolers, students may be five to seven months behind in language arts and a year or more behind in math.

Academic growth in the past year was faster than growth in 2018-2019 school for elementary schoolers and most middle school grades.

For more information on the report, click here.

State releases education report