By Patrick Wall at Chalkbeat Newark

After nearly a year of remote learning, how far have students in Newark and across New Jersey fallen behind? The answer isn’t clear — and neither is the plan for catching students up.

Nationwide data suggest the pandemic-induced learning loss could be steep. According to one analysis, students across the country began this school year an average of three months behind in math, with students of color further behind than white students. Students could end the year behind by half a grade level or more, according to the analysis by McKinsey & Co.

The picture is blurrier in New Jersey. Officials are bracing for big holes in student learning caused by the chaotic shift to remote learning last March, but they lack statewide assessment data to quantify the gaps.

“When we get objective, statewide data, we can see as a whole how we’re serving students in New Jersey,” said Patricia Morgan, executive director of JerseyCan, a group that supports student testing. “We really need that statewide data to know where to direct resources.”

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