By Patricia Morgan and Janellen Duffy in NJSpotlight

As more New Jersey students head back to in-person instruction and more staff receive vaccinations, health and safety rightly remains a top priority. At the same time, we’re also approaching a new inflection point where education leaders can focus intensively on solutions to accelerate student learning and replicate the great work already underway across the state.

In recent weeks, JerseyCAN released a study projecting the academic impact of the pandemic’s disruption on student academic growth in New Jersey. As with similar studies from across the country, the findings are bleak and the warnings dire, projecting grade-level proficiency for just one-third of students in English Language Arts and one-fourth in Math, with low-income Black and Latinx students falling even further behind. This information is critical in shining a light on the reality of the challenges we face so that we can confront them head-on. To do so, we must pivot to policy solutions and interventions to get our students back on track.

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