A report from Virginia’s largest school system indicates that children being kept out of school and learning remotely is crippling their capacity for learning.
A Fairfax County Public Schools study found that during the period that the children were learning remotely, roughly between the end of the 2019-2020 academic year to the present, “the percentage of F’s earned by middle school and high school students jumped from 6 percent of all grades to 11 percent — representing an overall increase of 83 percent from 2019 to 2020,” as The Washington Post reported. The results were worse for younger students, as middle-schoolers exhibited a 300% increase in F’s while for high-schoolers the rise was 50%, the Post noted.
Among disabled students, the percentage of F’s rose 111%.
The study, titled, “Study of Teaching and Learning During the COVID 19 Pandemic,” asserted:
Based on the findings of the analyses presented here, there is reason for concern about the performance of some middle and high school students based on their Q1 marks from this school year. Results indicate a widening gap between students who were previously performing satisfactorily and those performing unsatisfactorily. In other words, students who performed well previously primarily performed slightly better than expected during Q1 of this year. In contrast, students who were previously not performing well, performed considerably less well. A greater proportion of low-performing students received failing grades during Q1 than would have been expected based on patterns of marks in prior years.
Students at the middle school level had a notable increase in the percentage of failures, while at the high school level the increase also existed but was considerably smaller. The pattern was pervasive across all student groups, grade levels, and content areas examined in this report. The trend of more failing marks is concerning across the board but is especially concerning for the groups that showed the biggest unpredicted increases in receiving multiple unsatisfactory marks, namely our English learner students and students with disabilities.
On November 16, The Washington Post reported that the Fairfax County Public Schools had temporarily halted plans to return thousands of children to classrooms.
Fairfax County Public Schools, which serves 186,000 students, was supposed to send 6,800 pre-kindergartners, kindergartners and special education students back into school buildings on Tuesday. They would have joined the roughly 8,000 young children, special education students, and career and technical students who have already returned to classrooms. But in a letter sent to families Monday, Superintendent Scott Brabrand said coronavirus cases in the area have exceeded “the threshold to expand our in-person learning.” Groups of students that are currently learning inside Fairfax classrooms will continue to do so, at least for now, he wrote.
Braband added that online learning for the students would continue at least until Nov. 30, concluding, “These next few months will not be easy.” Last Thursday, Braband said, “We are committed to returning our kids to in-person. There will be some setbacks. There will be some pauses. I cannot promise you that it will be linear,” according to WTOP.
Author: Hank Berrien
Source: Daily Wire: Virginia Study: Remote Learning Damaging Students’ Education