Courtesy of D.C. State Board of Education
Courtesy of D.C. State Board of Education

Student proficiency rates could decline by more than 16 percent in English language arts and 10 percent in math if District of Columbia Public Schools fail to reopen by the fall.

The conclusion was shared Tuesday in a DCPS-issued statement regarding the likely performance of students on next year’s PARCC assessment.

“Given the scale of what our students are facing, we must provide more resources and flexibility for our schools to overcome the learning loss so that all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, can thrive,” said Maura Marino, Education Forward DC’s CEO. “We know that PARCC scores are just one look into student achievement, and the loss of full-time, in-school learning in art, music, history, science, physical education, and world language — as well as the unquantifiable social supports, from mentorships to internships — is unprecedented.”

Marino noted that a decline of this magnitude equates to about 15,600 fewer students reading on grade level and more than 9,800 fewer students performing on grade level in math, based on current student enrollment figures.

“This public health crisis means we must make the difficult decision to close our buildings until it is safe for our students and community to return to learning in school,” Marino said. “But the educational gaps that every family and school are facing means we must be bold in how we support every DC student both now and especially when students return to school.”

The analysis also reveals that economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities are likely to experience more learning loss than their peers, as every school day lost has a negative impact on students, according to Josh Boots, EmpowerK12 director.

“For every day of lost instruction in math, the probability that a student meets annual PARCC growth expectations in math drops by 1 percent,” Boots said. “And for every three days of lost ELA instruction, the probability in ELA drops by 2 percent. If students do not return to school this year, they will have lost 60 full instructional days.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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