Administrators Report Roughly Half of Public School Students Began 2022-23 School Year Behind Grade Level in At Least One Academic Subject
February 9, 2022
Fifty-nine percent of public schools are using tailored accelerated instructional strategies to support their students' learning recovery
WASHINGTON (February 9, 2023)—Public school leaders estimated that about half—49 percent—of their students began the 2022-23 year behind grade level in at least one academic subject, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical center within the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Almost all public schools with students behind grade level in at least one academic subject reported that at least some students were behind grade level in English or mathematics.
“Many students were behind grade level at the start of the current academic year, including in core academic subjects like English and mathematics,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “Both this school year and last school year, public school leaders estimated that about half of their students began the school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject. These data suggest that academic recovery will take time. Additional data show that public schools are employing a combination of learning recovery strategies to help students get back on track.”
Public schools have implemented a wide variety of learning recovery strategies as of December 2022, when the data were collected. Most public schools have relied on diagnostic (88 percent) and formative (85 percent) assessment data to identify individual students’ academic needs, and 81 percent of public schools have used remedial instruction techniques (i.e., using content from prior years to teach concepts or skills). Over half (59 percent) of public schools have used tailored accelerated instruction (i.e., teacher-led individualized learning using new, grade-level content to teach prior-grade concepts or skills).
In addition to the strategies mentioned above, most public schools provide some type of tutoring to their students (83 percent). Thirty-seven percent of public schools offer high-dosage tutoring (HDT). Among these schools, 42 percent report that more of their students are receiving HDT this year than did during the previous school year. In addition to HDT, schools are offering other types of tutoring, including standard tutoring (59 percent) and self-paced tutoring (22 percent).
“The School Pulse Panel is an innovative and valuable tool in understanding how the pandemic has affected the condition of education,” said IES Director Mark Schneider. “NCES and IES are committed to collecting high quality data to inform education policy and improve practices in support of learning recovery.”
The findings released today are from the School Pulse Panel. The School Pulse Panel is part of NCES’s innovative approach to delivering timely information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on public K–12 schools in the U.S. on topics such as learning recovery, tutoring offerings, learning mode offerings, and quarantine prevalence, as reported by school staff in U.S. public schools. Data from this round were collected from 1,026 participating public schools between December 8 and December 22, 2022.
This is the latest experimental data product from the School Pulse Panel. Experimental data products are innovative statistical products created using new data sources or methodologies. Experimental data may not meet all NCES quality standards but are of sufficient benefit to data users in the absence of other relevant products to justify release. NCES clearly identifies experimental data products upon their release.
The data released today can be found on the School Pulse Panel dashboard at https://ies.ed.gov/schoolsurvey/.
Supporting Learning Recovery
In addition to strategies mentioned above, most public schools provide some type of tutoring to their students (83 percent).
Learning Modes and Quarantine Prevalence
The National Center for Education Statistics, a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition and progress of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.
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The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.
Josh Delarosa, National Center for Education Statistics, Aris.firstname.lastname@example.org
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