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ILEARN Scores Dropped – Experts Explain Why Not To Use Term “Learning Loss”

By Bente Bouthier, IPB News | Published on in Education, Statewide News

Standardized test scores published this month for Hoosier students in third through eighth grade confirmed the predicted drops in scores.

Results show fewer than 29 percent of the state’s tested students passed both the English­– Language Arts and math portions of the test.

LISTEN: Indiana Education Officials Release ILEARN Results – Showing Predicted Drop In Scores 

But ISTA Vice-President Jennifer Smith-Margraf said the term “learning loss” is not an appropriate description of what happened this year.

“I think why educators really dislike the term learning loss is it makes it sound like somebody did something wrong,” she said.

Read: Indiana Releases 2021 ILEARN Data, Highlights Academic Impact Of COVID-19

Smith-Margraf said no one could have anticipated the disruptions the pandemic caused to schooling.

And MCCSC Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Markay Winston agreed.

“Our children, they haven’t lost learning­– they’ve lost instructional time,” Winston said. “They’ve had an interruption in their learning. And so, the focal point really needs to be on what’s our go-forward strategy?”

She adds the school corporation is looking to add tutoring opportunities using money received by the district from the federal American Rescue Plan.

Both Smith-Margraf and Winston said there have been internal conversations searching for a more accurate term to descirbe what happened for students during the pandemic, but nothing has been settled on yet.