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Distressing NAEP test results and the wisdom of keeping schools open

“If the last two years has taught us anything, it is that we absolutely need to empower parents with school choice everywhere.”

Partnership Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee shared this insight and others in a recent news story analyzing the results of the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, a nationwide assessment of 9-year-olds that revealed, among other findings, that the achievement gap widened alarmingly in the last two years. Other research suggests that achievement declined most in school districts that were closed for in-person instruction the longest, which disproportionately affected low-income students and Black and Hispanic students.

By opening in-person from the fall of 2020, Partnership Schools—along with Catholic schools nationwide—blunted the impact of the pandemic on students. Indeed, while the NAEP results show the achievement gap widening across the country, Partnership graduates’ recent NWEA MAP scores show that our eighth graders in New York—the first class to have Partnership curricula and approaches from Kindergarten through graduation—eliminated the achievement gap in reading and math:

Yet students not able to access Partnership Schools—or similar institutions willing to put their needs first—will be dealing with the fallout of COVID school closures for years. As Kathleen noted, “We need to have a diverse ecosystem of schools. We need to make sure that schools like Catholic schools flourish. And we need school choice to do that.”

You can see the full interview here.