State testing reveals COVID’s impact in classroom

Published 11:55 am Monday, September 27, 2021

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In a recent interview, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann talked about the long-term negative effects of COVID on Mississippi and how it will be years before we realize what a negative impact the pandemic is having on our state.

One negative impact became known this week when the Mississippi Department of Education released the 2020-2021 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program results. Statewide, student proficiency in math and English decreased for the first time since the tests were first administered in 2016. Prior to the pandemic, statewide student proficiency rates increased every year, until this year.

Results for Natchez-Adams School District were even more dismal.

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In every grade level tested, Natchez students scored lower — and sometimes significantly lower — than the statewide levels in math and English.

Despite what were near heroic efforts to continue teaching students virtually during the pandemic, it is obvious COVID took a significant toll on educating our children.

In Natchez and statewide, these test scores are an indictment on virtual learning. They show children learn best in a classroom setting where they can enjoy one-on-one interaction with a teacher.

Thanks to COVID, we must find a way to help students catch up to the level at which they should be in math, English and other subjects.

We as a community must work with our educators to find a way to keep children in the classroom. That means making sure we are vaccinated and doing all we can do to protect them from COVID and to stop the spread of COVID in our community.

As the state with the worst COVID case and death numbers in the country, we must do better.