New test scores indicate students who had in-person learning for more than 75% of their school days during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic fared better academically than those who spent more time behind a computer screen, Connecticut education officials announced Tuesday.
“What we learned, and it’s been affirmed in many different ways, is that across all grades, across most of student groups, those who learned in-person lost the least ground academically, while those who learned in hybrid or in remote models showed substantially weaker achievement and growth during the pandemic,” Ajit Gopalakrishnan, chief performance officer for the Connecticut Department of Education, said.
According to 2020-21 academic assessment results, the first since the 2018-19 school year, those who learned in hybrid or remote models showed “substantially weaker achievement and growth” during the pandemic. The largest impact appeared to be in mathematics scores.
Gopalakrishnan urged people not to compare one district’s test scores with another’s. He noted it was beyond the control of local education officials as to whether schools could remain open, given the changing health conditions.
“So it was not really, obviously, a normal school year,” he said. “Even in-person instruction wasn’t the same as in prior years.”
Last week, the federal government approved Connecticut’s plan to spend $110 million of COVID-19 relief funds to reopen the state’s K-12 schools for in-person learning, while addressing the effects of lost instructional time last school year and reducing education gaps over the long-term through “high-dosage tutoring” and other methods.
Meanwhile, Connecticut continues to see new cases of COVID-19.
Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 39.9, an increase of 7.5%, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins. State data released Tuesday show more than 1,000 confirmed or probable cases had been reported since Monday. Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations declined by 17, to a total of 363.