By Staff Writer at New Jersey Education Report

About 58% of the students we looked at in K-8 are about 1 to 3 years behind in reading. About 68% of students are 1 to 3 years behind in math. And this is cause for concern. That’s a pretty big percentage.

That’s Janellen Duffy, senior advisor at JerseyCAN, the non-profit devoted to high-quality schools and continuous support for all students. (During the last two years of COVID-disrupted education, JerseyCAN has performed the function in loco parentis for a chronically-absent state Department of Education.) Duffy’s remarks are relevant to a new national survey from Rand of 291 district leaders, revealing that “districts continue to struggle with how to manage teacher shortages, political polarization in schools, student and staff mental health concerns, and pandemic-related student learning loss.”

In addition, NWEA released a report yesterday that shows “some evidence of rebounding for the students who have been the hardest hit.” However, “achievement disparities remain wider in spring 2022 than prior to the start of the pandemic, and notably, if trends in gains remain constant, recovery timelines extend past spending deadlines for federal recovery funds.” Results from a similar test called i-Ready finds for second grade math 52% of students were on grade level at the end of last year, up from 49% the year before but far short of the pre-pandemic benchmark of 61%. “We do see some good news here in terms of the upticks,” said Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates, which produces the i-Ready. “But overall the students are still falling behind pre-pandemic performance.”

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