New Research: Academic Impacts from COVID-19 Closures Highlights Gains in Reading and Setbacks in Math

Posted by NWEA on August 31, 2021

Initial findings from NWEA are optimistic for reading but suggest unfinished learning in math, and raise equity concerns about missing data on students from underserved communities

NWEA, a not-for-profit provider of assessment solutions, released new research that reveals patterns of steady gains in reading and modest setbacks in math resulting from COVID-19 school closures. The research, Learning During COVID-19: Initial Findings on Students’ Reading and Math Achievement and Growth, is a follow-up to a study released by NWEA in April 2020 that projected the potential academic impact of COVID-19 disruptions modeled on its well-documented summer learning loss research.

The new research analyzed data from nearly 4.4 million U.S. students in grades 3-8 who took MAP® Growth™ assessments in fall 2020 to determine how students performed this fall relative to a typical school year; how much students have grown academically since schools physically closed in March 2020; and how fall 2020 test scores compared to the projections made by NWEA in April 2020.

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