All NC students experienced learning loss during pandemic, data shows

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Chelsea Matthews notices academic loss more with her fourth-grader Gideon vs. older sister Evelyn.

Gideon has an individualized education program or IEP for speech at his Apex elementary school.

"We know that they are not going to be maybe where we would have wanted them to be academically, and we're OK with that given the circumstances," Matthews said.

She is all too aware that nothing has been normal for all school children across the country in the time of COVID-19.

Cary-based SAS helped the Department of Public Instruction crunch numbers to hand over to the General Assembly, and they targeted testing scores.

They found that COVID-19 negatively affected all students for all grades in almost every subject.

Math in fifth- to ninth-graders was especially difficult as was biology.

Most students did learn, but they did so at a much slower pace.

Kids who came back into the classroom learned faster as well.

"How can we say that we're failing and that we're not doing what's expected when we don't have any direct comparison?" said Kira Kroboth, a Raleigh mom of three. "We've never been through a pandemic when we do standardized testing."

She's planning to send all three of her kids back into the classroom in the fall in Wake County, even the one who is most at risk with a food allergy.

They've been learning virtually outside of Wake County for the past year.

"I want them to have fully-funded schools and teachers that are paid well and happy to be there," she said. "The ones who have the resources and smaller class sizes. All of that will impact test scores."

The Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration said in their takeaways that connectivity is crucial and students need good broadband wherever they live.

The majority of students need in-person instruction all the time.

School leaders also need to focus on those students who have lost the most.
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