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Study shows impact of COVID-19 on student learning

The Indiana Department of Education has released its 2022 COVID-19 School Recovery and Assessment results.

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education today released updated findings from a study on the academic impact of COVID-19 on student learning. The results show that if learning stabilizes or recovers for many Indiana students, innovative and collaborative accelerated learning activities should be implemented to increase academic momentum for all Hoosier students.

“Today, we see the positive collective impact we can have when educators, communities and families come together to support our students’ learning,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Education Secretary of Indiana. “Basic learning in English/Language Arts and Math is leveling off or recovering for most of our students, and educators and students in Indiana should be proud of this progress. At the same time, we must continue to aggressively pursue innovative solutions to better support all of our students, especially our students who are still overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as students who were underachieving before the pandemic.

Indiana has partnered with the National Center for Assessment for the past two years to measure the academic impact of pandemic-related learning disruptions. Although students attended school full-time in person for the past two years, this study analyzes student assessment data and categorizes students’ speed of academic improvement into three levels of impact: recovery, stabilization and decline.

  • Learning is resuming for many students in mathematics, following a significant academic impact in mathematics observed following the 2020-2021 school year. For these students, the speed of their recovery is the strongest, exceeding the value of a year of learning. This pace of learning can allow students to reach the level of learning they would have reached without the learning disruptions associated with the pandemic.
  • Learning is stabilizing for many first-graders in English/Language Arts, following a moderate to large academic impact in English/Language Arts seen in the 2020-2021 school year. For these students, they are recovering from pandemic-related learning disruptions. However, additional support is needed for these students to recover and achieve the learning they would have achieved without the learning disruptions associated with the pandemic.
  • Learning is declining for fewer students in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. For these students, learning is stalled or deteriorating and they continue to experience additional academic impacts that slow their progress. Intensive support is needed to return these students to the level of learning they would have achieved without the learning disruptions associated with the pandemic.

This year’s analysis also shows that some student populations have not stabilized or recovered at the pace of other English/Language Arts student populations, including English language learners and Hispanic students, and will need additional support to accelerate learning. Without meaningful intervention, significant gaps may persist compared to the general student population.

The study includes analysis of multiple assessment data points, including statewide results from the Indiana Learning Evaluation and Readiness Network (ILEARN) Spring 2022 Assessment. ILEARN, which meets state and federal assessment requirements, was previously administered in 2019 and 2021. It assesses proficiency in content standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics in grades three through eight, fourth and sixth grade science, fifth grade social studies. , and US government and high school biology. Each state conducts its own annual assessment, and ILEARN is an Indiana-specific assessment. Therefore, ILEARN results cannot be compared to results from other states.

This year, more than 99% of students in these classes statewide participated in this year’s ILEARN assessment, all of which were conducted in person. The results show that most grade levels and student populations increased their English/Language Arts and Math proficiency rates by one to four percentage points from 2021. and 39.4% of students meet or exceed proficiency standards in mathematics. This means that Indiana’s student learning rate is increasing, but many students have not caught up to their current level of learning.

Full results from ILEARN, as well as results from other assessments, are available here. The results of this year’s assessment and academic impact study show the following areas of success –

  • Students are stabilizing or recovering in math at all grade levels, with math proficiency rates from 2021 to 2022 increasing by two to four percentage points.
  • Early graders are stabilizing or recovering in English/Language Arts, with English/Language Arts proficiency rates from 2021 to 2022 increasing by one to two percentage points.
  • Special education students stabilize or recover in math with a 1.6 percentage point increase in math proficiency rates.
  • English/Language Arts and Math proficiency rates are steadily increasing for students of various races and ethnicities in Indiana.
    • Black students outperformed white students in English/Language Arts proficiency rate increase, with Black students’ English/Language Arts proficiency increased by 1, 7 percentage point compared to 2021.
    • Native American, Black, Hispanic, Multiracial and White students all gained 2.5 percentage points in math proficiency rates.
  • Students receiving free or reduced-price meals had an increase in English/Language Arts proficiency rates of 1.1 percentage points and an increase in math proficiency rates of 2.6 percentage points. percentage.

The results of this year’s assessment and academic impact study show the following areas needing improvement:

  • Learning outcomes are down for Indiana’s lowest achievers. They show no improvement, either stabilizing or recovering.
  • Although English learners experienced a 2.2 percentage point increase in English/Language Arts proficiency rates and a 2.9 percentage point increase in Math proficiency rates, their proficiency rates remain significantly lower than their grade level peers and their academic growth is not keeping pace with other student populations. . Consequently, English language learners have a lower recovery rate in English/Language Arts, especially at the intermediate level, compared to their peers.

School resumption will require several years of accelerated learning to ensure that every student in Indiana has the opportunity to succeed, and every student will need different levels and types of support to get back on track. As many Indiana students experience growth in learning, educators, communities, and families must continue to come together to work to accelerate learning for all Indiana students.

“To positively change outcomes for our students, we must act urgently to chart an innovative path to school resumption,” Jenner said. “Pre-pandemic educational models need to be redesigned to meet our students where they are and propel them to success. Together with our legislative, community, family and educator partners, we must redouble our efforts to bring everyone to the table to implement new intentional and targeted solutions that provide additional support for our students.

To spur this important work, the Indiana Department of Education is leading innovative initiatives to support schools, educators, and students, including the launch of –

  • A more than $150 million state-funded grant program to help schools and community partners support accelerated student learning through summer and before-and-after-school programs;
  • The Achievement-Ready Indiana Graduate Performance Dashboard (as of Fall 2022);
  • An initiative to provide additional support to schools in literacy and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with a focus on pedagogical coaching of educators;
  • Microgrants to parents for high-impact tutoring (starting fall 2022);
  • The Indiana Learning Lab to provide educators and families with extensive online resources including literacy, STEM, digital, special education, and teaching English to learners;
  • A one-of-a-kind partnership with Get Your Teach On, providing educators with interactive professional development and support; and,
  • A partnership with to remove financial barriers to tutoring opportunities.