Schools are struggling to deal with the learning loss aftermath caused by the pandemic. It’s been one year since Congress passed record funding, and we don’t clearly understand where the budget is going. Without any clear direction or protocol from state or federal agencies, schools are primarily on their own regarding how best to use the funds and help bridge the learning loss gap.
While some schools are making valiant efforts to provide supplemental remote instruction and other forms of catch-up, others are finding themselves at a loss regarding how to proceed. Test scores have also decreased between Black and Hispanic students compared to their white and Asian peers. According to an interview completed by an Edsource reporter, “The scores are depressing but also inevitable since California was among that kept students in distance learning the longest.”
This lack of clarity creates tremendous anxiety and frustration for not only some educators but parents as well. As we enter into what is sure to be an extended period of academic remediation, it is more important than ever that we come together as a community to support one another and figure out more ways to help our students get back on track.
How are School Districts Dividing up their Funding?
School districts receive funding from various sources, including local property taxes, state income taxes, and federal grants. However, many school districts don’t track where this funding is being used because they don’t have the time to do outreach with community groups and local parents. Having a system like this can lead to several problems, but one of the main issues we’re dealing with now is learning loss in our communities.
The California Department of Education is required to perform routine audits on where education funding is going. According to State Auditor Elaine Howle and information presented in her audit: less than 1% of the districts and charter schools in 2020-21 were audited. However, the department didn’t see it necessary and noted the bulk of the spending as “other activities.”
Additionally, it can be challenging to hold district officials accountable if there’s no clear paper trail. Keeping track of district funding is a complex and time-consuming task, but it’s essential to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately.
Without this level of transparency, it’s all too easy for school districts to waste money and continue down the learning loss path we are going now. Teachers are also fed up with how things are going and are leaving their departments in droves.
How Badly did Distance Learning Affect Students?
One of the most significant challenges of the 2020-2021 school year has been the transition to distance learning. While many students and families have adapted well to this new format, there is no doubt that learning loss has occurred.
Studies show that, on average, students lost approximately one month of learning in Math and Reading while learning remotely. The equivalent of 7-10 weeks of traditional learning is missing this much school.
However, there was significant variation among different student groups. For example, low-income students and students of color were disproportionately affected, with some losing up to two months of learning in Math and Reading. In addition, English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities experienced more significant learning loss than their peers without disabilities.
As schools prepare for the 2022-2023 school year, they must take these findings into account and develop strategies to support all students in closing any gaps in learning. For example, if students need to be taught in an online learning environment, teachers need to ensure they have the right resources to ensure everyone understands.
According to Gao Gav, “in 2020-2021, approximately 60% of virtual learning teachers said their students had more difficulty understanding lessons than in the typical school year.” I hope we can build a bright future for our country by ensuring all students have access to quality education.
What are Schools Doing to Stop the Learning Loss?
It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a profound impact on educational institutions around the world. With schools forced to close their doors, students have been learning from home using various methods, including online, homeschooling, and distance learning.
While some students have thrived in this environment, others have struggled to keep up with their studies. As a result, there is a growing concern about learning loss. Even with the reintroduction of traditional learning, students are still struggling to keep up, even more so with families in low-income communities.
Luckily, schools are taking steps to prevent learning loss. In many cases, teachers provide additional support to struggling students. These methods include after school tutoring, extra homework help, or extended class time. Additionally, schools are working to make learning more engaging and interactive. For example, some schools are incorporating game-based learning into their curriculum and trying to create teaching programs for teachers so they can feel confident in their skills. Even with these methods, schools must be more mindful of funding.
How Student Hires Plans to Combat Learning Loss?
How do Student Hires Plan to Combat Learning Loss? As the learning loss caused by the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a primary concern for educators, Student Hires is working hard to create expanded learning programs that will help students make up for the lost time.
By partnering with colleges and universities, we can provide disadvantaged youth with access to quality experiential learning opportunities being taught by our college student staff. Through our programs, students will gain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their future careers.
In addition, we believe that our programs will help increase these students’ confidence, which is essential for overcoming learning loss. Ultimately, we are committed to providing students with the resources they need to succeed academically and professionally and make sure they feel safe.
Schools are struggling to manage the learning loss caused by COVID-19. Administrators, teachers, and parents are all scrambling to find ways to help students maintain their academic progress during this unprecedented time. We want to hear from you if you’re a school administrator or teacher. How are your schools managing the learning loss? Let us know in the comments! We also want to hear from parents – what strategies have you been using at home to help your children stay on track academically?