A series of recent studies from organizations as diverse as the Harvard Graduate School of Education, McKinsey and the National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES) are driving concern about learning loss across all regions and socio-economic levels due to the impact the pandemic has had on students. The National Assessment of Educational Progress’ Long-Term Trend test, paints a stark picture of 9-year-olds’ achievement in 2022: Over the past two years, math scores dropped by seven points—the first ever decline in the long-term trend assessment’s 50-year history. Reading scores also fell by five points, the biggest drop since 1990.
Parents are right to be concerned.
Thankfully, at All Saints our students have maintained their rigorous academic standards and there has been no decline in test scores at any of our grade levels. Our small but nimble school was able to quickly return students to in-person learning and our dedicated faculty ensured that they never missed a beat.
“I can say with confidence that our students have continued to perform as they did prior to the pandemic, demonstrating how our strong academic program supports their achievement,” said Dr. Amanda Dillon, Upper School Division Head at All Saints. “Our students consistently outperform the National norms and mostly outperform the independent school norms.”
All Saints students in Grades 3-7 take the ERB CTP tests annually and our younger students, in Kindergarten through Grade 2, take the Stanford Achievement Test. In both instances our students have maintained their characteristically high scores. “If your child worked hard to keep learning during COVID disruptions, is he or she frustrated in a class that is still making up lost ground?” asks Interim Head of School, Tom Trigg. “We know that a bored learner can lose a spark of curiosity and eagerness. Grades 1-7 are crucial for a child developing his sense of who he is as a learner, how much he will stretch himself to tackle new challenges. What we see at ASEDS post-COVID is that our students are not only maintaining their learning relative to US-based standardized tests, they are also meeting the internationally normed learning milestones of the International Baccalaureate program.”
Updated May 5, 2023
In addition to the recent decline in math and reading scores, Chalkbeat.org reported today that: “National history scores continue to fall, while civics scores drop for the first time. U.S. history scores fell by 5 points, on average, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, a test that’s considered to be “the nation’s report card” — continuing a nearly decade-long decline in that subject. Civics scores, meanwhile, dropped an average of 2 points. That marked the first decline in that subject since the NAEP civics test began in 1998.
Federal officials and educators said the declines were a cause for national concern and should prompt schools to put a heavier emphasis on social studies — at a time when many schools are laser-focused on reading and math recovery. But many educators are dealing with new restrictions that affect how they can teach about the nation’s history, particularly topics involving racism, sexism, and LGBTQ issues.”
“This news underscores the importance of All Saints’ transdisciplinary curriculum” said Noah Guzman, Dean of Student Life, “our students’ learning is interconnected over multiple subject areas. For example, the cultural and social history of Spanish speaking areas of the world are explored along with language acquisition. Math and social studies are intertwined as students learn how to design surveys about issues affecting our local community, then analyze and compile their research into a comprehensive report. Beyond test scores the practical application of their learning helps them develop skills that are transferable to all sorts of learning and professional environments.”
“In an effort to bolster the aims of international understanding and respect for all peoples, All Saints adopted the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) in 2018. This academically rigorous program helps children from our Nursery (or 3’s) class through Grade 8 to develop their reasoning by viewing similar content through multiple lenses” said Tom Trigg, All Saints Interim Head of School. “There is no hierarchy of subject learning with Math at the top and social studies at the bottom. Health and Physical Education, Design and Technology, Visual and Performing Arts are all given equal weight along with social-emotional development. As we look to the skills that children will need to navigate successfully in coming years I would urge parents to consider whether their schools are helping to develop creativity, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and leadership and collaborative competency.”