Study-Inslee’s School Closures Severely Hurt WA Students
A new study shows COVID policies utilized in WA schools have significantly hurt students K-12
Three policies disrupted students' education for nearly two years
The Washington Policy Center has released information from a new study showing how school closures, social distancing, and masks all but ruined two years of education for Washington state public school students.
Live Finne, the WPC's Director of the Center for Education, released the information on Tuesday, August 16th.
In June of 2020, Finne reports, researchers at McKinsey and Company said closing schools through January of 2021 would result in a hurt they said: "would last a lifetime."
Washington schools remained closed for the better part of two years.
According to the WPC report, State test scores showed the COVID educational protocols failed to educate students, with 70 percent in math and 52 percent in English not being grade proficient (where they should have been).
Some public schools, especially on the West side, stopped using letter grades and began to automatically pass students, regardless of their performance. There was also a significant spike in emotional and social disorders among students due to isolation and other COVID behavioral protocols.
Lower-income and minority students were especially hurt, during this period, with 8,700 fewer applying for state-funded scholarships.
There are a number of other factors listed in the report, but this one stands out: The 1.1 million public school students are being automatically promoted to the next grade regardless of their proficiency.
WA state was near the bottom in school re-openings
Finne reports states such as Utah, Florida, Texas, and others safely re-opened in 2020, as did schools in nearly 20 other countries. Washington state ranked 47th when it came to re-opening traditional public schools.
The report notes (from WPC):
"The teachers union fought to keep schools closed. When Washington’s schools finally reopened in September 2021, the 47th state in the nation to reopen, students were automatically promoted to the next grade without any assessment of whether they had actually advanced in learning."
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