Department of Education hosting series to address pandemic learning loss

The Department of Education announced Tuesday it will be hosting five sessions to address learning loss among students amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to virtual learning.

The series, called “Raising the Bar: Literacy & Math Series to Address Academic Recovery,” will begin Oct. 26 and focus on “strategies and programs to boost literacy and math outcomes,” according to a department announcement.

The series follows the release of the September National Assessment of Educational Progress, which showed substantial learning loss among students during the coronavirus pandemic.

The report showed 9-year-old students had the biggest drop in reading scores in 30 years amid the pandemic, while mathematics dropped for the first time ever.

The Education Department said its upcoming series was created to assist states, districts and schools in getting students back on track.

“The series seeks to build engagement from the field; identify collaboration opportunities among research, practice, and funding; and lift best practices and resources for practitioners and policymakers to take action to address learning loss and academic recovery,” the department wrote in its announcement.

The five sessions will take place between October and February, with one session scheduled each month.

The first session, slated for Oct. 26, will be “a call to action to practitioners, education leaders, teachers, parents, students, and policymakers to leverage the extraordinary level of available federal resources to mitigate learning loss and accelerate academic recovery.”

The other sessions will be held Nov. 10, Dec. 8, Jan. 12 and Feb. 9. They will focus on research skills, giving support to students outside the classroom, teacher shortages and parental involvement, and how to put policy into practice.

“With the latest results from the Nation’s Report Card as our call-to-action, today, I’m pleased to announce a new expert-led speaker series that will equip educators, school leaders, and district administrators with the latest information on the science of learning and the most promising tools for accelerating academic recovery, so that they can raise the bar to support our students and level up their skills in the critical areas of math and reading,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

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