Multicultural News

Indiana DOE releases assessment showing student pandemic ‘learning loss’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Education on Wednesday released data demonstrating just how much Indiana’s kids are feeling the pandemics impact academically, showing yet another cost of the pandemic.

The assessment shows drops in English and math with some of the most significant losses in Black and brown students, as well as other students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Education advocates say it’s going to take years of work to rebound.

Aigner Blade is a mother of five whose kids range in grades from pre-k to 9th grade. She says the last school year was tough with all the e-learning.

“I’m not a specialist in all the grade levels. And then the pressure of people making comments, ‘Oh, you are a teacher so you should be fine’ and I’m like, ‘absolutely not,'” Blade said.

She says as a teacher she and her children struggled and isn’t shocked many other families did too.

“We saw that right away the first quarter was very hard for her, very hard for me to watch her go through her first year of high school feeling unsuccessful,” Blade said of her daughter in ninth grade. “When she’s very much so a spatial learner.”

The assessment is broken down in categories. English and Language Arts saw minor to moderate impacts but across the board, math was significantly impacted.

“Historically, academic data shows that students of color are not performing as well as their white counterparts,” Kelli Marshall with the Mind Trust said.

The Mind Trust is an education agency that’s taken steps to improve education access to kids through its remote learning labs and resources. This data isn’t a shock but rather a place to start.

“To have baseline data coming in with no accountability placed on it allow schools the opportunity to see: where are their students in relation to grade level performance?” Marshall said.

Blade says despite the current data, she has hope we’ll get back on track.

“It was a lot. It was challenging. But we manage because we have to get through these things,” she said.

News 8 also spoke to a Ball State economist who says this data may have even longer-lasting impacts for some students and could impact future higher education and job earning potential.

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