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San Diego schools test results confirm pandemic learning loss

board of education building.jpg
Milan Kovacevic
The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education building is shown in this photo, Sept. 15, 2017.

More than a year of closed classrooms and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on student academic performance in the San Diego Unified School District.

The most recent state standardized test scores show sharp drops in math and English standards, erasing gains that were made in the five years lead up to the pandemic.

"Overall, the number of students meeting English standards at San Diego Unified dropped by around 4 percentage points, and the number of students meeting math standards dropped by about 7 percentage points," said Jakob McWhinney, education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

Though the the 2021-2022 Smarter Balanced assessment state standardized test results showed broad declines, there were some exceptions.

"One interesting one was that the only student group that saw slight gains over the pandemic were students in special education," McWhinney said. "That's pretty surprising, all things considered, and we're still trying to get to the bottom of why."

McWinney joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about the declines, as well as how school officials are reacting to them.

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