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A full 85% of students in Maryland are not proficient in math, in large part due to the COVID-19 shutdowns of the past two years.
Fox Baltimore reported that results from recent state test scores revealed the “stunning amount of learning loss,” a prediction the outlet said experts made during the pandemic that has now come true. Fox reported:
The pandemic created a debate over education. On one side, some parents, and Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises, were saying students need to be learning in person.
“The gap is getting wider,” Amy Adams, a parent in Baltimore County, told Project Baltimore back in October 2020.
“We are not raising the bar. We are lowering the bar,” added Sara Russell, another parent in Baltimore County who spoke with Fox45 News in 2020.
During a news conference in January 2021, Santelises supported a return to the classroom, saying “To ignore that — we do have families that want an in-person option — would be irresponsible.”
But on the other side of the debate, were the teachers’ unions and those fighting to keep learning virtual.
“We don’t want anyone forced back into buildings until it’s safe,” Diamonte Brown, the president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, said back in July 2021.
It appears the harm done to students by closing down schools is now apparent, with the scores from the 2021 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program – the first standardized state tests students have taken since the beginning of the pandemic – showing dire numbers in proficiency.
The test difficulty was even reduced for students, who took a shorter test in the fall that was for a grade level below their current grade. Even that didn’t improve scores.
“In Baltimore City, less than 7 percent of students tested in third through fifth-grade math scored proficient. That means more than 93 percent are not proficient in math. The results for English Language Arts are just as alarming. The data shows 91 percent of students tested in third through fifth grade are not proficient,” Fox reported.
It’s not just Baltimore seeing issues, either. Across Maryland, 81% of students taking the grade three through five tests were not proficient in math, with 76% not proficient in English Language Arts.
For middle schoolers in Baltimore, around 95% who took the seventh- and eighth-grade tests were not proficient in math. The numbers weren’t much better across the state, with 94% not proficient in math at those grade levels.
As The Daily Wire has documented, the problems for Baltimore students in particular are staggering. At one Baltimore high school, 77% of students were found to read at an elementary or kindergarten level. And as another result of the COVID closures, four in 10 Baltimore public high school students earned below a 1.0 GPA. What’s worse, failing grades won’t keep students from moving on.
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