The Minnesota Department of Education has launched a learning recovery program in response to a significant decline in 2021 statewide test scores. Red Wing Superintendent Karsten Anderson is hopeful for the upcoming school year as he implements four additional learning programs in the district.
On Aug. 27, the MDE released the results of the 2021 statewide assessments -- including the MCAs -- which showed a decline in the number of students who met or exceeded their grade level standards when compared to 2019. No testing took place in 2020.
The state shared the following:
Reading: 53% met or exceeded grade level requirements, showing a 7% decrease from 2019.
Math: 44% met or exceeded grade level requirements, showing a 11% decrease from 2019.
Science: 43% met or exceeded grade level requirements, showing a 8% decrease from 2019.
“We certainly haven't had optimal learning conditions since March 2020,” Anderson said. “COVID-19 disrupted the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years in ways no one could have imagined. So a drop in statewide test scores is probably no surprise despite educators striving every day to do what they love to do: Teach our kids.”
The MDE announced shortly after the results were published that they were creating a learning loss program to help students this coming year.
The program, Collaborative Minnesota Partnerships to Advance Student Success or COMPASS, aims to accelerate learning by meeting students’ academic, social-emotional and mental health needs while schools teach during the pandemic.
COMPASS will be an addition to the four programs Red Wing Public Schools continues to enact for student learning recovery.
Anderson explained the four programs as follows:
Expanded summer school opportunities in 2021 and again in 2022.
A new focus on how to be more understanding, sensitive, and aware of student needs so that staff members can adapt programs and activities to meet student needs.
Continued focus on stronger curriculum implementation at both the elementary and high school levels.
Implementation of mitigation strategies (such as face covering requirements) so students can learn in buildings with each other as much as possible this year.
“Red Wing Public Schools teachers and paraprofessionals worked hard to connect with students in meaningful ways -- in-person , hybrid and distance -- so they would feel supported,” Anderson said. “I think we all learned in the process and will have a solid 2021-2022 year as a result.”