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February 12, 2021 View as Webpage
COVID's Impact Reflected in Student Data
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions in Ohio’s educational system…forcing both students and educators to adjust to new and unfamiliar modes of instruction...1
During the 2019-20 school year, students were directly affected by the lack of access to educators. Two recent reports – one on Kindergarten Readiness and the other on the Third Grade English Language Assessment (ELA) – show the extent of the pandemic’s impact on Ohio students in the 2019-2020 school year.
The Ohio Department of Education’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Revised Preliminary 2020 Administration Report offered several findings (though they explained that a portion of the KRA test couldn’t be administered due to COVID restrictions of in-person contact.):
  • The KRA’s Language and Literacy portion is a predictor of future success in the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Compared to the previous three year’s results, 2020 Language and Literacy data reflect far fewer students scored “On Track” – 52.4% vs 61.7% in 2017. 

  • Overall, 42.1% of Ohio’s kindergarten children scored as “demonstrating readiness” (the highest category) which was slightly more than the previous three years of data. On the other hand, compared to previous years, there was also an increase in children scoring in the lowest performance category, “Emerging Readiness” (23.7%).
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Assessment (ELA) examines recent results from the ELA – the test used to determine a child’s promotion from third to fourth grade:

  • Average achievement on the ELA showed a decline roughly equivalent to 12 weeks of learning, and the proportion of students reaching the score previously required for promotion decreased 8%. (Ohio adjusted promotion requirements during the pandemic.)

  • Participation in the test declined among three groups – minority students, students residing in districts with low average achievement levels, and economically disadvantaged students.

  • Fully remote districts saw a greater decline in student scores than hybrid and in-person districts.

  • The authors found a correlation between lower test scores and COVID related unemployment rates.
Armed with the data, educators have continued developing more effective hybrid and remote teaching methods using creative strategies to engage learners. Still, the reality is that this has been a challenging school year, and future data for 2020-21 will likely be similar to that shown in the reports above.

The good news is that as more schools are in-person, jobs are created and vaccines are administered, a sense of balance will resume. Knowing that the impact of the pandemic will linger – in every aspect of our lives – educators will be able to prepare for the upcoming challenges and meet students where they are academically upon returning to the classroom.
1Kogan, Vladimir and Lavertu, Stephane. 2021. The Covid-10 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Assessment. The Ohio State University.
The Stark Education Partnership (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) collaborates with education, business, civic and community members across the entire spectrum – cradle to career – to create and respond to opportunities that will provide ALL students with education and career success.