State data causes concern about impact of pandemic on students

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Many parents voiced their frustration about their children learning away from the classroom, with virtual learning. 

“I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but we trying our best,” parent Peter Borruso said. 

For Borruso, it’s been a journey of ups and downs. 

“It’s really a difficult situation,” Borruso told FOX40. ”We think it’s really important for her to see other kids at this age.”

It’s similar for Tameka Vanenburg, who recently became a kindergarten teacher. She has been weighing the benefits and the risks. 

“I don’t really take them out anywhere because it’s hard,” Vanenburg, who is also a parent, said.

The pandemic has undoubtedly been a tough time for school-aged children. New data from the state shows the long-term impact it has had on students. 

The California Department of Education shows that for the assessment testing of the 2020-2021 school year half of the students did not meet the state standards in English Language Arts. Data also shows two-thirds of students didn’t meet math standards. 

The statewide chronic absenteeism rate increased by 2.2% to 14.3%; graduation rates fell by around a half percent to 83.6%. 

“It was hard for them at home because they didn’t have the social life, the friends, be able to run around the playground. So, I had to become creative at home,” Vanenburg said.

The batch of new data adds to what some parents have been saying throughout the pandemic: The trauma, the pandemic, the school closures are impacting student achievement. 

While the long-term effects of the learning disruption are unknown, parents say all they can do is take it one day at a time. 

“I am looking forward to the day we can say this was in the past,” Borruso said. 

“It has been hard, but I am glad we have been able to survive through it,” Vanenburg said.

Another decline the data shows is enrollment. Around 160,000 K-12 students dropped out of school last year, leaving 6.1 million students still enrolled. 

To see the data, click or tap here.

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