Georgia Policy Labs Reports

Student Achievement Growth During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Spring 2023 Update

Student Achievement Growth During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Spring 2023 Update


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The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures in March 2020, followed by an abrupt shift to remote learning. These pandemic-related disruptions significantly affected student achievement growth, but many districts began returning to in-person learning by the start of SY 2021–22.

In this report, Tim R. Sass and Salma Mohammad Ali continue MAPLE’s research agenda, analyzing student achievement growth in three metro-Atlanta school districts. This is the fourth in a series of reports documenting student achievement trends from before the pandemic to the present. We track student progress through SY 2022–23 and address three key research questions using formative assessment scores in math and reading from students in Clayton County Public Schools, the DeKalb County School District, and Fulton County Schools.

We find students initially made considerable progress after returning to in-person learning, but achievement growth was largely flat in SY 2022–23. By spring 2023, students in Fulton were at or above their pre-pandemic rankings on average. Students in Clayton and DeKalb were below their pre-pandemic rankings. Compared to before the pandemic, English Learners and students with identified disabilities had not lost ground. We find that students from households experiencing low income have faced larger declines in achievement growth than students from more affluent households. Overall, net declines in achievement growth were larger in math than in reading. Finally, students in Grades 1–3 when the pandemic hit experienced greater declines in math than students in upper grades.

Our findings show students’ academic recovery has been uneven, and many students are far below their pre-pandemic rankings. As a result and because federal recovery funds end in September 2024, recovery interventions should target students who need it most.



The link will take you to the landing page with the report and its accompanying appendix and policy brief.

Student Achievement Growth During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Spring 2023 Update