How will students “catch up”? RESULTS are in

As Hispanic evangelicals, we realize the importance of education, especially K-12 public education, because as Hispanics the majority of our families have students enrolled in public schools, and as evangelicals we see academic development alongside spiritual development as an integral part of developing into a student who lives wholly for God. 

The FE Coalition also understands the impact that lost time in the classroom can have on student learning. Coupled with the usual “summer learning loss,” the projected COVID learning loss can set students even further back as they enter into the new academic school year.

That is why we recently we told you about a national poll asking how people think we should help students “catch-up” from lost classroom time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, after two weeks of surveying 5,500+ education experts, advocates, administrators, and teachers from across the nation and from every state, the Collaborative for Student Success shared the results of the survey. Some results may surprise you, some may not. Nonetheless, the results give us a glimpse into the varying opinions of personnel and discussions taking place around the nation about how to respond to lost classroom time and reinforce student learning. 

We we will share some of the findings here, and as you look over them it is important to remember that regardless of what paths states and districts choose, they must seek to act quickly and effectively. Many marginalized communities have been working to bring students up to college- and career-ready standards for a long time now, and we do not want this crisis to force us to take any additional steps back.

The FE Coalition recognizes the amazing work educators and parents have done and continue to do to further student learning in response to the global pandemic. Yet our work to educate students into the 2020-2021 school year continues. And rightly so, the responsibility is on our states and districts to develop a strategy to make up for lost instruction time for students who truly need it. We pray the Lord will guide our leaders in their decision making.

 Forward and higher in Christ.

Key *Highlights* from the National Survey

Options to Catch Up from Learning Loss: 4 return-to-the-classroom options:

  • The poll asked teachers, administrators, policymakers, and education advocates to analyze four return-to-the-classroom options: (1) extending the next school year, (2) beginning the next school year where instruction stopped this school year, (3) beginning the next school year as in any other year, and (4) offering students the opportunity to repeat their present grade.
  • Participants prefer “business as usual” – beginning the next school year with the next grade’s instruction – although this is balanced by a widespread recognition that many students will require additional assistance. Hence, if states and districts want to explore more aggressive options – like extending the next school year – a substantial campaign is necessary to explain the need and develop proposals with support from educators.

Use an Assessment to Measure Learning Loss?

  • The poll asked teachers, administrators, policymakers, and education advocates if they favored using a high-quality assessment at the start of the 2020-2021 school year only to understand the extent of student learning loss or growth, and not to penalize students or schools.
  • A substantial majority favor conducting an assessment to measure learning loss (or growth) upon returning to the classroom, this despite a recent increase in anti-testing public sentiment.

For an in-depth view of of key highlights and analysis click here.

Rev. Girien R. Salazar
Executive Director, FE Coalition