Estimates of Learning Loss in the 2019-20 School Year

Research Rundown Issue: October '20
Publisher: Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University
Date Published: October '20


Building on previous projections from NWEA, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford (CREDO) made updated projections on learning loss as a result of school closures related to COVID-19. Based on data from 19 states, the researchers estimated that this past spring students lost anywhere from 57 to 183 days in reading and 136 to 232 days in math, with disadvantaged students disproportionately impacted. Given the projections, the researchers recommend:

  • Allowing new approaches—like videos, high dosage tutoring, connecting students with out-of-school supports—to high-quality instruction;
  • Administering rigorous student-level diagnostic assessments and frequent checks to help plot a recovery course; and
  • More state and federal guidance and support to drive equitable responses.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

All Minnesota students faced some learning disruption over the past year. Given the impact that this has on student learning, in the short and long term, it’s imperative that all schools use diagnostic and/or screener assessments to measure where students are. Using that data, schools must communicate areas for catch-up and growth to students and families, as well as use research-based interventions to meet students where they are, accelerate learning, and plan for long-term recovery.

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