Mitigating Learning Loss

The pandemic has created many challenges for education systems across the United States.  Mitigating learning loss will be a pressing issue for all schools districts going into the upcoming school year.  While some believe that we must “catch up”, extend days next year, retain students or test them for special services, Donna does not.  It is important to note research is clear on retention: there are no statistically significant differences between retained and matched comparison students in the majority of qualitative/quantitative studies.  Early grade retention does not produce enduring academic gains.  There are also negative effects of retention for students who have been retained more than once.  

She believes that this unique situation calls for quality over quantity in reading instruction.  We cannot gain back the time we have lost with our students, but we can begin to collect and use data to condense our practices to target student ability.  Teachers can learn to use data to ensure they begin where students are and build the quickest path forward on a daily and weekly basis.  This is our opportunity to get it right.