Despite a new program release from WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kris Rykdal, data shows on the four-year anniversary (this week) of WA schools closing due to COVID students still lagging badly. The new OSPI program is supposed to help lagging districts and students, but...

 Nearly half of students are failing in reading

We remember four years ago this month when WA state schools were closed due to COVID, and remained closed longer than any other state in the US.  They finally reopened in late 2021. Gov. Inslee ordered schools to reopen on April 19th, but not all districts returned to fulltime in-class work right away.

Now, a new study from the WA Policy Center shows students are still suffering from distance learning, and being out of class longer than any others in the US. By way of The Center Square, Liv Finne of the WPC says data indicates only 50.1 percent of students are at grade level or successfully performing at reading levels, and only 39 percent passed the Smarter Balanced Assessment WA state test in math.

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Finne told The Center Square that new data shows WA students have likely lost at least 7 percent of their potential lifetime earning capability due to the COVID closures.

 The Hoover Institute produced a report showing how the loss of learning for students due to COVID school closures could likely result in WA state students making 7 percent less money lifetime than they would pre-COVID.

Closing schools for up to 18 months (in some districts) has severely deprived many students of knowledge they need to stay on grade level, and in turn will potentially affect opportunities they may have down the road, according to the report.

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