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NJ Students Suffer Serious Learning Setback from Pandemic, Study Shows


The study found that 3rd through 8th graders in New Jersey have lost significant percentages of expected learning because of a lack of classroom instruction.

New Jersey’s third through eighth graders will have a lot of lost ground to make up when classrooms reopen in the fall.

A study by the education nonprofit JerseyCAN found that the pandemic and virtual learning have cost students 30% of expected learning in English and 36% in math.

Executive Director Patricia Morgan said students of color have suffered even more profoundly.

“Troubling is that for our Black and Latinx students, they have even more lost learning,” she said. “The most was for our Black students who lost 43% of learning in English and 50% of learning in math.”

For students from low-income families, the loss of expected learning in math was also especially significant at 43%.

Morgan said these are not the only disturbing statistics.

“What was staggering is to see that our proficiency rates, the number of students on grade level, were slashed nearly in half,” she said. “That was really troubling.”

Morgan said now only 1 in 3 students is projected to be on grade level in English, and only 1 in 4 in math.

The study found that disproportionately, students of color have been in fully virtual learning environments.

Morgan said the greater learning loss among such students may also be because their parents are less likely to be able to work at home and help them with school.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.