COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A new state analysis shows the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic led to loads of lost classroom time for students around Missouri.
All Missouri students lost time but some groups saw slower academic growth, said Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. The report compared scores from 2018-2019 to 2020-2021. Math was the source of the biggest losses, particularly in schools where students learned only remotely, Vandeven said.
"We are quite concerned that the achievement gap that we've been working on for decades, widened tremendously throughout the pandemic," said Vandeven.
Students who learned through virtual and distance methods improved less than students who were part of hybrid or onsite teaching methods, according to the state's report. Missouri reports younger students were more affected than older students.
Overall, the report from the state shows students with disabilities, those with lower family incomes, and minorities were most impacted by pandemic learning. Vandeven believes it's important for state leaders to use federal money to help identify student needs and get them back on track.
"We've invested funding from the state level in working with our teachers, working with educator preparation programs on that really explicitly clear way of making sure that our students are on a grade level reading by grade 3, so that's really important," said Vandeven.
The state identified mental health resources and access to broadband as major areas of need in education.