RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina K-12 students in the 2021-22 academic year came even farther in recovering instructional time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than they did during the previous year, a state report found.
The report from the state Department of Public Instruction on Tuesday followed a similar report from last year that found learning progress had slowed in the previous school year with students in some cases 15 months behind where they would have been in a typical year.
Education officials point to the new report as a sign of significant academic recovery.
The strongest gains were observed in math in both middle and high schools, Jeni Corn, the department’s director of research and evaluation, told the House K-12 Education Committee.
“The work that the teachers and the principals and the superintendents all over the state had been doing was really making a difference,” said Corn.
Signs of recovery appeared in nearly every subject, she said, with only high school English unchanged from 2020-21.
“We are not back to where we were prior to the pandemic as a state,” explained Corn. “[Maybe] another two years for a majority of our students, maybe a little bit longer for those most hardest hit.”
Corn told CBS17 the best thing that parents at home can do to help, is to ensure their kids get to class, and have them read at home.
The 15-month recovery time observed in Math 1 in 2020-21 was slashed to nine months during the following year. Similar reductions were spotted in Grade 6 math and in biology.
“The results from the 2021-22 school year empirically confirm what we’ve been hearing from teachers and principals and parents around the state,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said. “Our schools and districts have made incredible strides in helping so many of our students get back on track to their pre-pandemic performance. This data also tells us there is more work to be done and fortunately we still have federal funding available to support interventions targeted at the students who need it most.”