BEAUMONT, Texas — The Texas Education Agency released new findings Thursday that show students have lost a substantial amount of learning over the last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether they took classes in-person or online, the last year was filled with challenges for students across the state. This is a reality that put many of them months behind, according to the TEA.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, juggling the roles of mom, dad, and teacher is starting to take a toll on parents like Sheyney Robinson.
"I go and I gotta leave to come back, get her ready for school and get him on his virtual learning. It's very hard," Robinson said.
Students are feeling the extra stress, too. A new study from the TEA revealed that the pandemic has caused students to lose more than three months of learning, which is not a surprise to parents like Jasmine Crawford.
"With our school, they were doing packets every three weeks, and now it's every week. Then, it’s confusing which packet on which and when to pick them up, when to drop them off. It's just been a lot." Crawford said.
The TEA gathered these finding based on an optional beginning-of-the-year assessment given to more than 600,000 students to measure the impact of virtual learning.
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"I think it's a good idea to see how effective things have been or how ineffective it's been so far," said Elana Daigle.
Daigle is the site director at the tutoring company Mathnasium. She said there are many reasons why students fall behind.
"Not being able to be engaged, not having reliable technology... A lot of the kids just need to sit down face-to-face and have someone break it down for them. Whenever they're in a zoom classroom, that's just not able to happen," Daigle said.
Research from the TEA shows that the summer is the most common time that students fall behind. Now, the pandemic is adding to that academic gap. Daigle said parents and teachers are going to have to work hand-in-hand for their scholars to succeed.
"Reach out to the classroom teachers ask for help. If they're in-person learning, see what they're offering after school, ask for interventions. The parents are that child's advocate," Daigle said.
The TEA said the scores from the assessment will not be used for any accountability purposes but only to help schools make changes to their curriculum.