When does inequality grow? A seasonal analysis of racial/ethnic disparities in learning in kindergarten through eighth grade
By: Megan Kuhfeld, Dennis Condron, Douglas Downey
What role does schooling play in the development of racial/ethnic inequalities in academic skills? Seasonal learning studies, which allow researchers to compare the growth of achievement gaps when school is in versus out of session, provide important evidence on whether schools reproduce or exacerbate educational inequalities. However, most existing seasonal studies have been restricted to the early grades, limiting our understanding of the relationship between schooling and inequality in the later grades. In this study, we examine seasonal patterns of racial/ethnic achievement gaps in kindergarten through eighth grade using a national sample of over two million students. We find that the Black-White achievement gaps widen during school years and shrink during summers, whereas Asian students generally pull ahead of Whites at a faster rate during summers than during school years. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings in relation to the broader literature on schools and educational inequalitiesSee More
To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, researchers have translated test scores into months of learning to claim how many months/years students are behind in school. Despite its perceived accessibility, there are major downsides to this translation. To inform future uses by researchers and media, we discuss in this brief how to calculate this metric as well as its trade-offs.
New research shows progress toward academic recovery stalled in 2022-23. This research brief covers data from 6.7 million US students examining academic gains relative to pre-pandemic years as well as tracking the gap in achievement between COVID year student groups compared to their pre-pandemic peers.
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The purpose of this technical appendix is to share more detailed results and describe the sample and methods used in the research in Education’s long COVID: 2022-23 achievement data reveal stalled progress toward pandemic recovery report.
The purpose of this technical appendix is to share more detailed results and describe the sample and methods used in the research in Progress towards pandemic recovery: Continued signs of rebounding achievement at the start of the 2022-23 school year.
New research provides evidence that student reading and math achievement at the start of the 2022–23 school year is continuing to rebound from the impacts of the pandemic, though full recovery is likely still several years away.
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, The widening achievement divide during COVID-19.
New research provides additional evidence of the uneven impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic showing that students’ math and reading test scores are more variable in spring 2022 than before the pandemic in part because the divide between high and low achievers has widened.