Students falling behind?

thavoice

Well-known member
Not an educator, but it runs deep in the family and their take at thanksgiving is that they do worry about A LOT of students.

As a whole, a strong parental influence is instrumental in a vast majority of kids development even in a normal setting, and with the at home learn setting it is even more important.


The fear is that those with weak parental influence will fall even further behind than ever.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
My take would be yes, especially as mentioned those with marginally involved parents and/or special needs. The achievement gaps between the haves and the have nots will worsen the longer that our schools remain in hybrid and remote learning models.

In terms of achievement and progress, districts that have higher numbers of students in those groups are going to be facing issues that will set them back several years IMO.
 

LELL

Well-known member
Not an educator, but it runs deep in the family and their take at thanksgiving is that they do worry about A LOT of students.

As a whole, a strong parental influence is instrumental in a vast majority of kids development even in a normal setting, and with the at home learn setting it is even more important.


The fear is that those with weak parental influence will fall even further behind than ever.
So true and sad.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
Most of the kids I know are in parochial school and they have been in class full time without a major outbreak and those few that they have had has been a result of contact with family and friends at home, not school. So, while these kids are receiving a near normal academic experience, the kids who are least equipped for home schooling are stuck at home. There are many reasons for the disparity. I blame the lack of parenting in some homes but also the pandering to the public school teachers' unions. It is truly a shame that these kids are being neglected.
 

Starkbuck

Active member
I think that there is some merit to the notion that kids are falling behind, and especially true for those with certain learning disabilities. However, I would argue that it is irrational to say that our kids are falling behind as there is no benchmark for whom or what they are falling behind. For years educators have argued which standards should be taught when and how, but now it is assumed that everyone is falling behind due to being remote. Additionally, there have been some recent studies published (don't have them on hand sorry), that indicate that students who have been engaged in online learning for the majority of the time are scoring similar to previous students. Conversely, those who haven't been engaged in online learning have lagged behind traditional benchmarking on standardized assessments. Long story short, those who are getting online, doing their work and engaging with their teachers are learning, those who aren't, are falling behind. Not real shocking in my opinion.

I would also agree with Clark W. Griswold III, sorry I love that movie, that this is more a reflection of a societal issue of schools being used a babysitter or placeholder for parental involvement in our children's lives. I cannot tell you how many times I have had conversations with parents where I have had to remind them that it is not the sole responsibility of the school to educate and raise children. The schools have a role in this process, but education is the sole responsibility of the parents, not the schools. This paradigm shift however has caused so many of our kids to fall behind previous to this, that this pandemic has exacerbated the issue ten times over.

I have spent more than ten years in education and despite the work of so many amazing teachers, there is nothing but criticism for the failure of students left and right. At some point people should realize students are at school maybe 7 hours a day, and spend the other 17 hours elsewhere. Many times the schools are not failing students, even during remote learning, but rather the parents are failing their children.

Sorry for the rant!
 

Tesoro

Well-known member
The Teachers unions are pushing for the closure of schools. The teachers unions are least concerned about students education. one would just have to look at their magazines.
 
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Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
The bits and pieces I've picked up from speaking to a few teachers and other staff at my school. I don't know where this ramble of a post is going to end up. It's complicated:

- Some students liked the remote learning in the spring. Some liked it so well that they withdrew from the school for this year and enrolled in various online programs offered elsewhere. To no great surprise, people learn most effectively in different ways. Others liked remote for more practical reasons, e.g. they didn't have to get up as early to do all the extras that are needed to make themselves presentable in person and then get in a car or on a bus to travel "x" number of minutes to school. Which would I have liked better? Beats me. I think I learned well in the classroom, but I was also terrible about getting up early enough to eat a proper breakfast. Parking was "first come, first served" in my day, so I was often in 1 of the last spots out by the main road.

- Also with regard to some kids not falling behind or doing better with remote learning, surprise, surprise. The process of becoming educated is like most other endeavors in life: you get out what you put into it. Only the most gifted would be able to truly half-butt it and produce an outcome that would exceed the best effort of most others.

- There was a lot of rust on many of the students during the early weeks of the school year. One teacher noted how quickly the kids' attention spans would be reached vs. prior years. That teacher has been at it for over 30 years and is arguably the best in the building. In addition to his ability to explain his subject matter clearly and communication skills, he's great at "reading the room."

- The remote product in the spring was far from ideal. It was new for the teachers and students and thrown together on basically no notice. There was no time for anyone to think it through and see how it would look before it was needed. Also, the infrastructure to distribute a quality remote product wasn't there. Additionally, there was also no good way to hold students accountable for their virtual attendance as well as hold them accountable for the quality and quantity of work they produced. There were issues such as seniors getting jobs in late April after it was announced that schools would remain closed. Many stopped signing into their classes, or they'd find other reasons not to "attend." I heard the term "coronacation" thrown around among students. Another issue was a lack of a set schedule for when individual classes would meet online. For example, the sophomore English teacher might set the next online meeting for Wed. at 10am. Unfortunately, the sophomore Spanish teacher may have also chosen that same day and time for his next online lesson. With more time to improve infrastructure, figure the production issues out, and dedicate more of the teachers' recent professional development hours to producing remote lessons, many of those shortcomings from the spring have been addressed. My school went remote after the county turned purple on Dec. 3 (sports were also suspended until the county returned to red on Dec. 17). The teachers and kids are now doing the remote learning using their current class schedule. Student attendance is tracked. Every student has a school-issued Chromebook or another electronic device of their own, so no excuses there. Originally, teachers were going to be required to do their lessons from school, but that decision was altered. More on that in the next item...

- There weren't any major outbreaks among the students. In general, the students were following the proper guidelines with mask wearing, staying home if they didn't feel well, or getting them away from the rest of the students if they suddenly became ill, etc. It helps to have a student body of about 300 in a building that was designed for roughly 1600 students (1000 might be the comfortable upper limit in this day and age due to how much stuff everyone has these days as well as how much classroom space has been repurposed over the years). It's possible to have people keep their distance in both the classrooms and in the more common areas. Also, it's a large campus with many outdoor areas available for teachers to take classes outside during what was a pretty cooperative first few months of the school year weatherwise.

- However, the lack of cases among the kids is more likely a greater credit to their behavior outside of school. It's difficult to have an outbreak within a school if a pathogen never makes it into the building. Here's what I wonder about: are the kids really that good at following the recommended guidelines outside of school, or are they getting their fill of social interaction in the more supervised school or athletic team setting which reduces the likelihood of getting together away from a supervised environment where they might be more likely to let their guard down?

If the county had not turned purple on Dec. 3, classes may have remained in person for another week, but the school most likely would've had to go remote for this final week before Christmas Break due to the number of teachers who recently tested positive. There aren't enough substitutes available to adequately cover all the absences. It was for that reason that the principal decided the teachers would not be required to do their lessons from the school. Some are still coming into school to produce their lessons. It would appear other area schools that were forced to go remote also did so due to the number of cases among their staff as opposed to the number of cases among their students. However, some schools were not faring as well as my school with regard to the number of cases among their students.

- The social benefits of in-person learning are hard for many to do without. There are other ways to fall behind aside from what you did or did not cover during in-class lectures and whatnot.

- Other issues in the "to be remote or not be remote" question revolve around what is the school providing its community? At many schools, the delivery of an educational product is the main thing. Peripheral issues aren't a major concern in that scenario. It's a much easier decision to go remote in that case. For others, the school is also functioning as daycare, whether we like it or not. If the kids aren't at school, the parent(s)' ability to work is compromised. For some communities, remaining in-person is the most effective way to ensure the kids have a consistent food source. I hate that there are people out there who don't get enough to eat at home, but it is a reality. Kudos to my local school district for coming up with a plan to distribute food outside of school last spring. Also, if the kids aren't at school, are they safe? Data from the Department of Job and Family Services indicated a precipitous decline in the report of incidents of child abuse in the spring. The implication was that with kids not in school, abuse victims were encountering fewer people trained to both notice signs of it and to report it to DJFS. Lastly, do enough students have electronic devices and access to reliable internet to access remote lessons? If not, one might argue that going remote is setting up too many to fail.
 
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BASESWIMPARENT

Well-known member
Speaking from a junior high or high school perspective, my thoughts are that if a student was doing well in an in school situation, he/she is probably doing either a little better or a little worse in a virtual situation. If the kids were struggling in school, they are probably really struggling virtually. And, like it was stated earlier, those that find themselves in lower socioeconomic situations tend to be the ones that that need the in school work the most. Unfortunately, many of the city schools have been the most aggressive in terms going hybrid or virtual the longest and their students tend to tolerate virtual education the least. I see a much lower graduation rate(for not passing the state minimums) for the next several years. We are all going to be worse for it.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
If they're all falling behind, then no one is falling behind. ;)

Agree with the take this will hit the at-risk hardest. Those without social structure, losing the thing they get most out of going to school, social structure.
Few systems had time to teach their kids the tech and organizational skills they would need at home, more-so an issue for the at-risk.

But the feeling and most likely reality, this segment of population contains the same kids that would be hardest to teach or get to cooperate with the new realities of in-building learning; distancing, masking. And they are the ones with the least resources to get help should the problem have reached home and this I believe is the biggest concern of both those in education and of those families that would share the building, with the troubled or stubborn parts of the population. Remote is still better than taking it home and killing grandma or getting parents sick who cannot afford to lose time at work.

Some games are no-win, try to mitigate the losses.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Here's an article from the Beacon Journal today about students falling behind-


Some highlights:

In Akron, across all grade levels that receive letter grades, 36% of students earned at least one failing grade on their first-quarter report card this year, up from 26.8% last year. Out of more than 17,000 students, that means 1,545 more students earned at least one failing grade this year than last year.
In English and language arts classes, 17% of students earned a failing grade, up from 10% last year. In math, 20% of students earned a failing grade, up from 12% last year.

Columbus City Schools reported last week 36% of all grades issued in the first quarter were F's, up from 16% the year before.

Across all grades and demographics, students who earned A's had an average attendance rate of 97%, although attendance is counted when a student logs in online for class or turns in work. Students who received a failing grade had an average attendance of just under 80%.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
If they're all falling behind, then no one is falling behind. ;)

Agree with the take this will hit the at-risk hardest. Those without social structure, losing the thing they get most out of going to school, social structure.
Few systems had time to teach their kids the tech and organizational skills they would need at home, more-so an issue for the at-risk.

But the feeling and most likely reality, this segment of population contains the same kids that would be hardest to teach or get to cooperate with the new realities of in-building learning; distancing, masking. And they are the ones with the least resources to get help should the problem have reached home and this I believe is the biggest concern of both those in education and of those families that would share the building, with the troubled or stubborn parts of the population. Remote is still better than taking it home and killing grandma or getting parents sick who cannot afford to lose time at work.

Some games are no-win, try to mitigate the losses.
This ^

Million dollar question is how to fix?
 

14Red

Well-known member
Good students are excelling, always have, always will. The poor / struggling student will fall further and further behind. But it's ok, our government will just throw money at it because it's what they do.
This will be unpopular, but I think the country really needs to seriously look at holding all students back a year. It won't matter for the good students, but it would be incredibly helpful for the medium to poor students.
 

D4fan

Well-known member
If they're all falling behind, then no one is falling behind. ;)

Agree with the take this will hit the at-risk hardest. Those without social structure, losing the thing they get most out of going to school, social structure.
Few systems had time to teach their kids the tech and organizational skills they would need at home, more-so an issue for the at-risk.

But the feeling and most likely reality, this segment of population contains the same kids that would be hardest to teach or get to cooperate with the new realities of in-building learning; distancing, masking. And they are the ones with the least resources to get help should the problem have reached home and this I believe is the biggest concern of both those in education and of those families that would share the building, with the troubled or stubborn parts of the population. Remote is still better than taking it home and killing grandma or getting parents sick who cannot afford to lose time at work.

Some games are no-win, try to mitigate the losses.
Some students are rapidly excelling during stay at home online education. Perhaps it is the lack of social destraction from peers, less anxiety from classroom pressure to perform or other standards.

For the educator of math or science, it is easier to target the advanced students with lessons differentiated from merely meeting the standards allowing personal passion for a subject to take over and these kids drive themselves to greater understanding and knowledge than a slower paced one size fits all classroom curriculum allows.

My wife says in her classroom she believes about 25% of the kids are rapidly accelerating and going above and beyond what they would learn at school, while 50 % are about the same. It is the other 25% where the problem lies. These kids are possibly distracted by home life and not supported to a level that requires them to work at their education. The parents of these kids claim to be too busy with work or similar and typically have a preconceived notion that all kids are in the same boat therefore they won't push their kid to work at their lessons.

My bet is there are certain communities where a significant percentage of kids lack parental support and are not being disciplined in their approach to educational outcome of their child.

Many universities are going to suspend ACT AND SAT results impacting students for entry into their programs. This is frustrating for the students who continued to work passionately during the pandemic as they are not rewarded for their determination. Rather, it is race or gender that is determining entry into graduate school programs even to a greater degree now than prior to the great Covid education debacle. With fewer tests to prove exceptional knowledge the exceptional student is actually the one falling behind in many cases.
 

bob99

Well-known member
Some students are rapidly excelling during stay at home online education. Perhaps it is the lack of social destraction from peers, less anxiety from classroom pressure to perform or other standards.

For the educator of math or science, it is easier to target the advanced students with lessons differentiated from merely meeting the standards allowing personal passion for a subject to take over and these kids drive themselves to greater understanding and knowledge than a slower paced one size fits all classroom curriculum allows.

My wife says in her classroom she believes about 25% of the kids are rapidly accelerating and going above and beyond what they would learn at school, while 50 % are about the same. It is the other 25% where the problem lies. These kids are possibly distracted by home life and not supported to a level that requires them to work at their education. The parents of these kids claim to be too busy with work or similar and typically have a preconceived notion that all kids are in the same boat therefore they won't push their kid to work at their lessons.

My bet is there are certain communities where a significant percentage of kids lack parental support and are not being disciplined in their approach to educational outcome of their child.

Many universities are going to suspend ACT AND SAT results impacting students for entry into their programs. This is frustrating for the students who continued to work passionately during the pandemic as they are not rewarded for their determination. Rather, it is race or gender that is determining entry into graduate school programs even to a greater degree now than prior to the great Covid education debacle. With fewer tests to prove exceptional knowledge the exceptional student is actually the one falling behind in many cases.
After reading these posts I believe that the main difference is how different school districts are handling this. The districts that have direct online communication with the students and teachers seem to have a much better handle on this problem. Our school district is using a program for online study that our local educators do not deal with or have any hands on input to. Students that chose a hybrid in class and online study program study with their teachers two days a week and go online 3 days a week with a program that has no personal instructors. It is strictly self reading and taking online exams. The exams tells the student the number of questions they answered correctly. They can't go back to the quiz and see which questions they answered wrong. I applaud the school districts that maintain constant contact with their pupils. It sounds like the most practical and efficient model. Maybe a national plan to run the schools on a more similar model would level the playing field?
 

USA70PP

Well-known member
My granddaughter is missing her friends and school activities. She's telling me she doesn't like the system.
 
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