LAUSD students fell significantly behind in English, math during … – Spectrum News 1

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LOS ANGELES — Students in LAUSD schools incurred major learning losses in the 2021-2022 academic year compared with the last time the district was assessed before the pandemic.
The percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards declined 2.26% in English Language Arts and 5.03% in math during the last school year compared with 2018-2019.
“It’s no surprise, based on what we learned just a few weeks ago at the national level. In reading and mathematics, but particularly mathematics, the progress made over the past 20 years in performance improvement was lost,” LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Friday at a presentation of the district’s California Department of Education Smarter Balanced Assessments for the 2021-2022 school year.
“The pandemic deeply impacted the performance of our students, particularly kids who were at risk in a fragile condition prior to the pandemic.”
Carvalho said the losses were most stark for Latinx students and English language learners, whose academic performance last year was on par with five or six years ago. 
LA’s scores parallel the pandemic-induced declines in reading and math the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported in early September. Following COVID, reading scores for nine-year-olds fell to their lowest level in 30 years, and math scores decreased for the first time since standardized testing began.
The dramatic decrease in LAUSD students meeting or exceeding the English Language Arts standards was the greatest among eleventh graders, whose performance declined 7.1%. Third and fourth graders also declined significantly, by 4.55% and 3.98% respectively. There was, however, one bright spot: eighth graders actually performed better by almost half a percentage point.
All grade levels lost ground in math, with female students losing more ground than male students. About 80% of Black students, 90% of students with disabilities and 95% of English language learners were not on grade level in math.
Eleventh grade students saw the greatest decline in math — 9.73% — followed by eighth and sixth grades at 5.83% and 5.73% respectively. 
As bad as LAUSD’s student performance losses were, Carvalho said the district did not lose as much ground as many others in the state. 
“That’s good news, but it does not hide in any way the terrible impact that two years plus of a pandemic have had on our children’s performance,” he said. “Nothing substitutes for effective, dedicated, compassionate education teaching and learning in the schoolhouse. That is a necessary conclusion. There is no substitute for in-person learning.”
Los Angeles Unified was among the many school districts around the country that switched to virtual learning shortly after the pandemic took hold in March 2020. Students did not return to in-person classes until the fall of 2021. 
Carvalho said the district plans to analyze the schools that somehow maintained learning achievement in a virtual setting compared with those that migrated to in-person learning. He also vowed to make up for the pandemic learning loss by pledging two years of academic advancement for students in a single academic year. 
“The distance from the standard for 2021-2022 for all students is higher than the distance from the standard back in 2016-2017,” Carvalho said. “That is why our call to action this year is for every one year to provide two years of acceleration toward the standard. If we do not do that, we will not reach our board-established goals regarding proficiency in reading, mathematics and on-track graduation. My promise to this community is we will do it.”
To help close the learning loss gap, LAUSD developed a 2022 to 2026 strategic plan based on five pillars. They include:

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