Combatting Learning Loss

The ability to read is a strong predictor of future success, and Michigan’s kids are behind after multiple years of distance learning.

The 2021 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, MSTEP, showed clear learning loss.

From the Detroit News:

  • In sixth-grade math, 28.6% of students tested proficient or above, compared with 35.1% in 2019, the last time Michigan students took the test.
  • In third-grade math, 42.3% of students tested proficient, compared with 46.7% in 2019.
  • In third-grade reading, 42.8% of third-graders passed the English language arts test, compared with 45.1% two years earlier.
  • The percentages of eighth- and 11th-grade students who scored proficient or above on the reading and writing test improved over 2019, from 61.9% to 63.6% and from 55.3% to 56.6%, respectively.
  • In fifth-grade social studies, 15.6% of students tested proficient, compared with 17.4% in 2019.

How have parents reacted to their children not learning? By looking for alternate ways to educate their children.

According to the Macomb Daily, statewide, Michigan’s fall enrollment shrank by 53,200 students, or 3.7%, according to unaudited enrollment data newly compiled by the state. That’s twice as many students as the state lost during 2009-2010, the last year of the Great Recession, which was the largest drop in more than a decade.

The investments communities make in their school districts come with one responsibility: educate children.

While some of the missing students can be attributed to parents delaying their children starting kindergarten, some parents have made the decision to enroll their children in private schools that held in-person classes or to permanently homeschooled their children in order to catch them up to grade level academics.