School effectiveness, summer loss and federal accountability
Learn more about the effect of seasonality on estimates of school effectiveness and how ignoring summer loss can impact which schools are identified as low performers.
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Learning during COVID-19: An update on student achievement and growth at the start of the 2021-22 school year
To what extent has the COVID-19 pandemic affected student achievement and growth in reading and math, and which students have been most affected? Using data from 6 million students in grades 3-8 who took MAP Growth assessments in reading and math, this brief examines how gains across the pandemic (fall 2019 to fall 2021) and student achievement in fall 2021 compare to pre-pandemic trends. This research provides insight to leaders working to support recovery.
Technical appendix for: Learning during COVID-19: An update on student achievement and growth at the start of the 2021-22 school year
The purpose of this technical appendix is to share more detailed results and to describe more fully the sample and methods used in the research included in the brief, Learning during COVID-19: An update on student achievement and growth at the start of the 2021-22 school year. We investigated two research questions:
- How does student achievement in fall 2021 compare to pre-pandemic levels (namely fall 2019)?
- How did academic gains between fall 2019 and fall 2021 compare to normative growth expectations?
Using achievement data from fall and spring of grades K-8 for 840,000 students in 8,800 public schools, this study provides novel evidence on how achievement and growth differ between rural and nonrural schools. Rural students start kindergarten slightly ahead of nonrural students but fall behind by middle school. The divergence is driven by larger summer losses for rural students. In both rural and nonrural schools, Black–White achievement gaps widen during the school year.
Schools as refractors: Change in variance in children’s cognitive skills change while in school versus out
How does schooling affect inequality in students’ academic skills? This study uses seasonal comparisons to examine the possibilities that schooling exacerbates, reduces, or reproduces overall skill inequality in math, reading, language use, and science with recent national data on US public school students spanning numerous grade levels from the NWEA MAP Growth assessment. Results suggest that schooling has a compensatory effect on inequality in reading, language, and science skills but not math skills. Theoretical implications of findings are discussed.
By: Dennis Condron, Douglas Downery, Megan Kuhfeld
Supporting COVID-19 recovery for students with disabilities: Research findings, policy recommendations, and lessons from the ground
In this webinar by the Alliance for Excellent Education, NWEA, and the National Center for Learning disabilities, learn about recent research on academic growth for students in special education before the pandemic and implications for policies and practices designed to spur COVID-19 recovery.
New research examining academic achievement and growth of students in special education and their peers who were never in special education during each school year and summer in grades K-4 shows that students with disabilities grow as much or more academically during the school year than their peers without disabilities during some years, but that steeper summer learning losses for students with disabilities contribute to widening disparities.
This study compares within- and across-years academic growth for students who were ever in special education (ever-SPED) to students who were never in special education (never-SPED) in grades K-4. Ever-SPED students grew more in math and reading than never-SPED students during many school years, but lost more learning during every summer than their peers, leading to expanding disparities. These findings suggest that summer learning opportunities are crucial for improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities.