Student Behavioral Problems Top Concern for Virginia Educators

In a survey, Virginia’s school staff rated a rise in student behavior problems the most serious problem they’re facing. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) conducted the survey as part of a study of the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 education.

“The pandemic was an unprecedented disruption for K through 12 students and staff, ” JLARC Chief Legislative Analyst Joe McMahon told a General Assembly committee on Monday. “As students returned to in-person learning, chronic absenteeism, classroom behavior, and reported mental health issues have worsened.”

Read More

Youngkin Announces Partnership with HBCU Students to Tutor Students in Hampton Roads and Petersburg

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a tutoring partnership between four Richmond and Hampton Roads-area historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to employ their students as tutors and mentors for high school and middle school students. “Sadly last Monday, Virginians woke up to the next of many alarm bells that were ringing…

Read More

Analysis Shows Some Tennessee Students Lost Months of Learning Between 2019 and 2022

A new analysis of data from the Nation’s Report Card shows that Tennessee students lost, on average, what equals five months of math learning between 2019 and 2022 while the state’s students lost four months of reading learning.

The Education Recovery Scorecard, from researchers at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and Stanford University’s Educational Opportunity Project, includes interactive district-level learning loss information from across the state of Tennessee and the country.

Read More

Learning Loss Greater in School Districts That Stayed Remote Longer, Study Shows

School districts that resorted to remote learning during the pandemic took a large learning loss hit, according to Thursday study by a Brown University economist.

K-12 school districts who stayed with remote learning the longest during the pandemic saw a 13% sharper drop in learning losses than schools that returned to in-person learning sooner, according to study by a Brown University economist Emily Oster. The study notes that while there were other factors that resulted in learning losses, remote learning was a “significant contributing factor.”

Read More

Buckeye Institute Report Offers Solutions to Ohio Students’ Learning Loss

Responding to major learning loss suffered by Ohio students as a result of the school closures following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Columbus-based Buckeye Institute recommended policy solutions this week to help students regain what the education system did not provide. 

On March 30, 2020, Republican Governor Mike DeWine ordered all in-person K-12 schooling closed throughout the state for the remainder of that school year. Students instead participated in “virtual classrooms” wherein they would watch their teachers’ instructions online. During the 2020-21 school year, many school districts continued to keep school buildings closed at least part-time. 

Read More

Virginia Student Assessments Show Improvement but Still Below Pre-COVID Levels

Standards of learning tests (SOL) for the 2021-2022 school year show improvement across most subjects from the previous academic year, but the administration is warning that there’s still an achievement gap compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. In a virtual press conference Thursday, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) officials said that gap shows the impact of virtual learning.

“The research is becoming clearer and clearer: students whose schools were closed for in-person instruction suffered the most. Being in person for school matters,”  Superintendent of Public Education Jillian Balow said.

Read More

First Lady Jill Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Visit Connecticut

First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited Connecticut on Wednesday to tout summer education programs in the state.

The duo pointed to the American Rescue Plan, which provided funding to states to host the learning programs and make up for learning loss that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Minneapolis Teachers Union President: ‘Our Fight Is Against Patriarchy, Capitalism’

Greta Callahan, president of the teachers’ chapter of the striking Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), told members rallying at the state capitol Wednesday, “Our fight is against patriarchy, our fight is against capitalism, our fight is for the soul of our city.”

The teachers union and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) remain at a stalemate on a new contract, Patch reported.

Read More

Virginia Schools 2020-2021 Standard of Learning Tests Results Unsurprisingly Low

Virginia’s 2020-2021 standards of learning (SOL) pass rates are low: 69.34 percent for reading, 54.18 percent for mathematics, and 59.45 percent for science, according to Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) data released Thursday. The VDOE emphasizes that those results are due to COVID-19 and related factors, and followed national trends.

“Pass rates reflect disruptions to instruction caused by the pandemic, decreased participation in state assessment programs, pandemic-related declines in enrollment, fewer retakes, and more flexible ‘opt-out’ provisions for parents concerned about community spread of COVID-19,” the VDOE said.

Read More

Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Fran Bush Talks Lack of Common Sense as Mandates Trump Learning Loss Recovery

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed MNPS District Six school board member Fran Bush in studio who expressed the priority of getting kids back on academic track instead of focusing on mask mandates.

Read More

Cox Calls for Small-Group and Individual Tutoring to Address Learning Loss

Gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) agrees that schools need to be reopened immediately. But he says that’s not enough — policymakers need to address learning losses. Districts like Fairfax County have reported spikes in failing grades. Parents and medical studies have expressed concern over the long-term harms caused by a year of virtual learning. Cox is calling for tutoring programs to help students recover academically, and he says he is willing to be one of those tutors.

Read More

Virginia Department of Education Announces Guidelines for Reopening Schools

The Virginia Department of Education announced a new set of guidelines for school reopening, the result of a workgroup created in February. The guidelines include recommendations for remediating learning loss, note that virtual learning doesn’t work for every students, calls for special attention for vulnerable populations, and say that more staff may be needed to keep student-teacher ratios low.

Read More

New Mission PAC Hosts GOP Gubernatorial Forum

GOP gubernatorial candidates Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña, and Glenn Youngkin met on Zoom on Thursday evening to answer policy questions about school reform, fixing Virginia’s tax code, improving broadband access, and making Virginia more veteran friendly. The New Mission PAC hosted the forum. PAC founder Daniel Gade and former Delegate Chris Saxman asked the questions in a format designed to allow candidates to demonstrate policy positions without engaging in direct debate.

Read More

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Kirk Cox Calls for Next Steps to Address Learning Losses from Virtual Classes

Virginia’s Democratic leadership is finally starting to call for a return to in-person learning, but gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is calling for immediate next steps to address learning losses caused by virtual learning. In a Thursday press conference, Cox laid out his proposals, including expanding availability of tutors, assessing learning loss, and providing financial support to parents for remedial materials.

Read More

Lawmakers, Superintendents Blindsided by Tennessee Department of Education Learning Loss Projections

Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn’s announcement of COVID-19-related learning loss projections for Tennessee students took state lawmakers and school superintendents by surprise.

In a joint news conference with Gov. Bill Lee last week, Schwinn announced Tennessee students are expected to face learning loss of 50% in English and 65% in math, stressing the importance of in-person learning. Projections were based on national research and early results of beginning-of-year student checkpoint assessments in Tennessee.

Read More