Data to understand learning loss is likely in multiple data silos: Student Information System, Assessments files and multiple Benchmark programs. Integrate all data points in one place to find gaps in student achievement.
At-risk students are more adversely affected by COVID closures. Real-time data like absences, infractions, low/failing grades, and socioeconomic factors can identify specific students for intervention.
Without recent state assessment data, utilize benchmarks and formative assessments in addition to historical state assessments as a measurement of where students are today, relative to where they've been.
Addressing learning loss starts with providing parents consistent updates on their child's progress. Build parent engagement through 1 to 1, data-informed conversations and begin to decrease the achievement gap immediately.
How will districts across the nation identify learning loss in their students and how should it be addressed in the classroom and home? “There is a significant amount of learning loss that we’re going to have to adjust and account for to give kids what they morally deserve,” stated Texas Education Agency Commissioner, Mike Morath.
Learning loss is a topic that is top of mind for educators across the country. In order to catch kids up quickly this year, it will require that teachers have real-time information on student progress and that parents become engaged and involved in order to meet district performance goals.
Though you may not have results of state tests to reference, most students will have taken two (fall and winter) benchmarks during the 2020 school year. Benchmark data will be helpful, if not critical, for indicating where to begin instruction, and aggregate results can paint a picture of achievement for your school or district.
Benchmarks are designed to estimate students’ performance on higher stakes tests, and projections typically have acceptable rates of accuracy. For highly vetted assessments, correlations between predicted and observed scores generally range from .50 - .70, with some variation by subject and grade level. Unless your students were testing on a brand new benchmark for the very first time, you can place a lot of confidence in your benchmark’s results.
Assessment organization NWEA has recommended that in order to support growth and achievement, educators should establish authentic relationships with students, addressing their social and emotional needs. Additionally, they recommended addressing content that was skipped and work to bridge the gap for 2021 grade-level standards.
The assessment organization along with researchers at The Annenberg Institute, Brookings, and Renaissance also recommend that educators be prepared to handle differentiated instruction, as “students are likely to enter school with more variability in their academic skills than under normal circumstances.”