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Back to another school year! For testing coordinators, it is a process of gathering data for teachers to start the school year off in a well-informed manner to provide heavily sought instructional guidance. This is a tall order for new and returning testing gurus because were are still far from normal. In fact, we are embracing a much needed “new normal”. A new normal, in which, you are the expert! You are the go-to for data that answers the “Where do we go from here?” question. That is getting harder and harder to answer with so much still out of sorts.

Staff vacancies

  • School leaders are seeing significant staff burnout.
  • They expect vacancies for hard-to-fill positions in 2022-23.
  • High poverty schools, schools with 75% or more minority students, and city schools all anticipate a higher number of teaching vacancies than other schools for the 2022-23 school year.
  • The teaching positions most schools expect to be very difficult to fill include foreign languages, computer science and special education. 

Academic impact

  • 50% of students began the 2021-22 school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject, compared to 36% at the start of a typical pre-pandemic school year.
  • By the end of the 2021-22 school year, the percentage of students behind in at least one academic subject returned to 36% — marking a 14 percentage-point reduction.

Conclusions

  • U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement the data points to ”significant progress” made by students during the 2021-22 school year. 
  • More than 98% of public schools used academic supports to spur pandemic-related learning recovery during the 2021-22 school year. Most common strategies were:
    • remedial instruction (72%)
    • high-dosage tutoring (56%) 
  • Learning, enrichment and summer school continue to be offered in most places. 
  • We must remain focused on delivering equitable recovery that results in the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students.
  • Hard work of parents, educators, school leaders is moving our recovery in the right direction, despite anticipated and persistent hard-to-fill vacancies across school levels, including special education.

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National Association of Testing Professionals (NATP)
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