connecticut schools

Student Achievement Still Lags Behind Pre-Pandemic Levels in Connecticut

The State's Education Commissioner said that while the numbers are concerning, they are using the data to inform their decisions.

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Student achievement in Connecticut still lags behind pre-pandemic levels, according to new data released by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Thursday.

Results from the 2021-22 state assessments show that there are signs of learning acceleration and recovery, but some students are still months behind where they would be had there not been a pandemic.

"We have to grow," said Charlene Russell-Tucker, the state's education commissioner. "We are committed to making sure all our students get exactly what they need."

Student achievement was increasing prior to the pandemic, but the Performance Index for the 2021-22 school year tells a different story. Student proficiency declined around 6 to 8 percentage points in English language arts and mathematics. Proficiency levels in science fell about 4 percentage points, according to the CSDE.

It is estimated that fourth and fifth grade students may be 2-3 months behind their expected performance had there not been a pandemic. Middle school students, grades 6 through 8, may be 5-7 months behind in ELA and more than a year behind in math, according to the CSDE.

Russell-Tucker said that this is not an acceptable place for Connecticut to be. While she was concerned by the data at first, she said that the data will help inform their decisions around resources and assistance.

"What do we need to do to become even more intensive and even more focused. You have heard us talk about the resources- what do we need to leverage? What are those things that are working in other districts that we need to make sure other districts are aware of and how do we deploy resources where they are most needed?" said Russell-Tucker. "Our kids must thrive, they must succeed, and we are here to make sure that that is happening."

The state launched a Pandemic Recovery dashboard where people can track academic recovery. The CSDE said they believe it will take a team effort to push the students forward.

With millions of dollars in state and federal funding, the commissioner said that the CSDE is focused on advancing learning acceleration and equity in academic recovery.

CSDE's theme for the 2022-23 school year is "The Sky is Not the Limit".

"We are focused on taking the limits off of them and providing as much supports as possible so they can thrive," said Russell-Tucker.

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