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Standardized test scores reflect a 'COVID Slide' in learning

literacy scores
Posted at 6:10 AM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 09:25:59-04

COLORADO SPRINGS  — We're now getting a clearer picture of how the pandemic has affected student learning. According to the Colorado Department of Education, test scores among 3rd graders in our state have dropped in reading and math.

The CDE says only 39.1 percent of 3rd graders met or exceeded expectations on standardized tests, compared to 41.3 percent in 2019. This drop in scores was seen in every demographic.

Jennifer Rowland, a certified language therapist and instructor, isn't surprised by the test scores and says intervention is key.

Rowland runs a literacy center called Crossroads Literacy in Colorado Springs. She specializes in treating kids with reading deficiencies like Dyslexia, and other disorders such as ADD and ADHD. She says ADHD is a common disorder in Southern Colorado. Rowland says teachers need to intervene sooner when a child is having reading problems, or those problems will only get worse.

"First grade for example is such a pivotal age for learning letters, for learning sounds, and for being exposed to words, and sadly the more time passes the more difficult it is to catch up," she explained.

Rowland believes more resources should be devoted to students reading.

"We've had a learning gap for years," Rowland said.

Rowland says the 'COVID Slide' could get worse too, if not dealt with. She says she thinks the gap in learning is due to remote learning. She hosts sessions with students at her learning center and through zoom, and says it is so hard to work with kids remotely. You have to have patience and take plenty of breaks to make sure the student is still organized. But with solid curriculum, she makes it happen everyday for so many kids.