This year’s results from The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are shocking but not surprising. Students across the country are a year behind where they should be since the 2019 scores.
Not one state improved in reading or mathematics from 2019.
Utah failed students less than other states.
The shutdowns and COVID restraints implemented by health departments were clearly detrimental, but Utah did attempt to decrease the rate of learning loss.
The State Board of Education and the legislature gave school districts flexibility in length of school day, number of days required, and attendance requirements to respond to the rapidly changing expectations of families and their communities. This one change allowed the traditional public schools to respond to family needs and concerns.
Some districts reduced the number of school hours, giving teachers more time to plan and prepare.
Other districts used an entire day for individualized learning. Students were only required to attend on these days if they were behind or not understanding the material.
Canyon Grove Academy was one of the only schools to improve in early literacy skills during this time. Why? Because they were already using a distance learning model that emphasized parent choice before lockdowns and closures.
Currently, the State Board of Education and education leaders are trying to get back to where we were before the shutdowns. That is a mistake.
We have an opportunity to dramatically improve education in Utah. We don’t need industrial style schooling. We need education that meets the individual needs of our students.
Don’t settle for less.