School leaders’ view: Let’s use the latest scores on the nation’s report card to inspire us — not deflate usBy Angella Martinez
As the pandemic moves toward the rearview, its effects on education linger. The latest edition of the Nation’s Report Card, which includes federal, state and local 4th and 8th grade math and reading scores, was released last month with grim and sobering results. Test scores are an essential benchmark, but they only tell part of the story.
As the leader of KIPP SoCal Public Schools and an educator with more than 20 years’ experience, I don’t believe those numbers reflect our students’ capabilities or unlimited potential for achievement. Rather than allowing these scores to deflate us, we will use them as a snapshot and as fuel to power our push towards academic recovery by implementing necessary programs and practices to ensure students return to — and then exceed — pre-pandemic learning levels.
It Will Take Time
If you are doing the work in schools every day, the NAEP results were no surprise. Whether charter or traditional public school, the pandemic has resulted in a setback in learning for most students, taking an especially heavy toll on the Black and Brown communities we serve. EmpowerK12, an organization using data, analysis, and collaboration to accelerate learning, believes students across the country lost nearly a full year of learning progress. It will take more than a single school year for these children to recover.
The influx of federal funding was a start, but in order for us to commit to providing the learning supports and mental health services needed for years to come, all California public schools will need a constant stream of additional federal and state funding well beyond 2024.
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