Other Papers Say: Time to rethink education – The Columbian

by | Nov 6, 2022 | Education

Grim as they were, the recent release of student assessments known as “the nation’s report card” should have surprised no one. Education researchers say the effects of learning disruption during the pandemic are worse than what kids in New Orleans faced after Hurricane Katrina.
Only 28 percent of Washington eighth-graders are currently proficient in math, a drop of 13 points since 2017. Overall, the pandemic wiped out decades of slow academic improvement, pushing us back to where we were in the 1990s.
Some will note that Washington students are still doing better, on average, than kids in 21 other states, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. But averages blur glaring — and important — extremes. Consider the ocean of difference in math scores between low-income eighth-graders and middle-class kids: a 31-point gap that is among the widest in the nation.
If ever there was a moment to do something different, surely this is it. Yet the prevailing attitude in most school district headquarters might best be described as a desperate effort to get back to normal.
State Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, floated legislation aimed at this problem during the pandemic. It didn’t pass, but the central concept — modifying the traditional school calendar — is gaining traction with some school districts anyway.

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