As academic learning declines, some officials are looking for even more money for education –

As academic learning declines, some officials are looking for even more money for education -

For some time I have written, and presented data, about the falling academic standards and learning in Washington public schools, due to CRT and other factors.

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  • Liv FinneWashington Policy Center

  • Liv Finne

Today I received further confirmation of this disturbing trend.  On Friday, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal finally released Fall 2021 test scores. These scores show academic learning is dropping across all metrics.  All Washington students, in every demographic and income group, have fallen behind the state’s academic standards in their learning.

His Emergency Order, dated March 15, 2021, identified the mental health crisis facing students as the reason for requiring the union to reopen the schools. But even this Order kept the schools closed until April 19th, 2021.  Now schools in many parts of the state are facing further possible closures.

One reason is that students have been kept out of school for months at a time.  On March 12, 2020 Governor Inslee ordered all the schools in Washington state, public and private, to be closed. Instead of adopting the current policy of only closing schools where COVID is present, the Governor placed the full burden of closed schools on families.

Below is the data showing how far behind Washington’s students are in their learning.

Alternatives are available.  In 2020 and 2021 many states, to provide families with access to learning resources, enacted or expanded school choice programs.  Similar legislation has been introduced here.  A caring state legislature would deliver resources directly to families, so they can hire private tutors to make up this loss.   

Smarter Balanced Assessment Results, Fall 2021 | Released January 7, 2022
Math – Students Met Standard
Spring 2019Fall 2021All47%30%White55.7%35%Asian73.9%58%Hispanic31.4%15%Black27.9%13%Native American25.8%10%Low Income32.2%15%Special Ed15.9%8%
English – Students Met Standard
Spring 2019Fall 2021All60%47%White67%54%Asian77.9%67%Hispanic42.4%31%Black41.6%31%Native American35.9%23%Low Income43.1%31%Special Ed20.8%16% Liv Finne is the director of the Center for Education at the Washington Policy Center.

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