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Report: Michigan students did better during in-person learning

Jennifer Guerra
Michigan Radio

A new report from Michigan State University says that nearly a quarter of students did not show any growth between fall 2020 and fall 2021. The report found that students who were learning in person, on average, fared far better than those who were learning fully remotely.

It also found that disparities that existed between white students and students of color have persisted, but have not been exacerbated by the pandemic.

This is not just a problem in Michigan, but in districts and states across the country.

This was the third in a series of reports from MSU’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative, or EPIC, partnering with the Michigan Department of Education.

In a typical year, about 50% of students would be expected to reach certain growth targets. However, the report found that only 40% of students reached their targets from fall 2020 to fall 2021.

Katharine Strunk studies education at MSU and helped author the report.

"This is not the time to back away from providing more resources to schools and districts. This is going to be a long term trajectory of trying to help students to catch up," she said.

Strunk says that now is the time to provide extra funds and resources to schools. She encourages in-person learning and one-on-one coaching.

"If kids were really showing no learning gains, and sometimes negative learning gains over the 2021 school year," she said. "We’re going to have to really think about how we help accelerate these student’s learning this year and in the years to come."

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.
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