HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH/AP) — A statewide report has examined the impact of the pandemic on public school students’ academic performance.
The Department of Education’s Condition of Education in Connecticut report says while graduation rates continue to rise, there is evidence that the pandemic caused some learning loss.
“Our number one lesson was just how important people are to one another’s growth,” said Kate Dias, president of the Connecticut Education Association. “We don’t want to build a system that people can opt out of human interaction.”
Among other conclusions, it found that students who attended in-person classes in the 2020-21 school year lost the least ground academically, while those who learned in hybrid or fully remote models showed weaker achievement and growth.
Proficiency rates were worse for remote students and considerably lower for those with higher needs. For math, only 10% of high needs students met the 3 proficiency level.
Enrollment between 2020-2021 also declined by about 3% from the prior year, something that typically occurs over a five-year period. The decline for males was nearly twice that of females.
Read the full report below:
In Cheshire, they kept in-person learning going throughout the pandemic, so their data for test results and enrollment was better than many other districts. However, that does not mean they didn’t have their own noticeable setbacks.
“Our adult education programs have certainly suffered in terms of enrollment during the pandemic… those audiences that may need more support, doing it in a virtual world is really not going to be the answer for them,” said Cheshire Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Solan.
That trend coincided with the state data for the decline in adult education enrollment. Solan said remote learning was not the lone factor for declining test scores.
“They lost so many peer connections. They couldn’t play sports, music, theater, things that they’re into, and that had an impact on kids too. So it’s more than just remote learning,” Solan said.
Their strategy is acceleration teacher intervention, focusing on students with deficits, but it is not going to be a quick solution.
“What it tells us is that we need to really double down on outreach,” Dias said. “We need to double down on time spent with students.”
Chronic absenteeism was also exacerbated by the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.