There’s no question that the Covid-19 pandemic hit Hawaii schools hard. We’re continuing to see the damage.
Academic performance levels for students in the first two quarters of the 2021-22 school year have been released, and they are not reassuring, despite students’ return to the classroom.
The “good news” in Hawaii’s most recent grades report is that the percentage of elementary students with a failing grade in English dropped between quarters — from 23% to 22%. This shouldn’t obscure the news that more than 1 in 5 elementary school students received a failing grade during the assessment period.
In math, the percentage of elementary school students with a failing grade rose from 14% to 16%.
Drill down farther into these statistics, and there is more bad news.
Elementary school students with disabilities showed the most significant decline in academic progress between the first and second quarters. Those with a failing grade in English rose 5 percentage points to 55%, and those with a failing grade in math increased 6 percentage points to 42%.
When broken down by race and ethnicity, the Pacific Islander group lagged the furthest behind; among elementary school students, 39% had a failing grade in English, and 31% in math.
The DOE chooses to call education that brings students up to baseline levels “accelerated learning.” Here, advocacy group HawaiiKidsCAN calls for a measurable boost in tutoring, a proven strategy to help individual students. We’d like to see that happen.
Finally, the need is dire to increase attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism, a problem that has only grown worse in the wake of the pandemic.
Read the full article here.