COVID-19 pandemic having negative affect on New Jersey’s students, standardized test finds
How much damage did the COVID-19 pandemic do to New Jersey’s students? It is a question on the minds of many teachers and parents.
The state released new data this week that is providing some answers, with the results of the “Start Strong” exams.
The rest was given to students in fourth through 10th grade and in some select high school math courses. It tests students’ proficiencies in math and English.
The standardized test groups the students into three categories. Level 1 means strong support may be needed to catch up. Level 2 means some support may be needed. And Level 3 means less support may be needed.
For math, 55% of fifth graders and 53% of sixth graders were categorized as Level 1. Also 60% of Algebra 1 students.
The numbers were worse when broken down by race. More than 74% of Black fourth graders likely needed “strong support” in math.
For English and language arts, fourth graders struggled the most. More than 4`% of them were labeled as Level 1 and in strong need of support.
How do the kids get back on track? According to the tests, virtual learning wasn’t a benefit for many students. Schools have gotten about $4 billion in federal funding for programs like summer school.