It is not surprising that due to the pandemic, math and reading scores for 9-year-olds across the country declined. What is surprising, and devastating, is that those numbers between 2020 and 2022 didn’t just drop; they plummeted.
Decades of academic progress were erased. In two years, reading scores on a key national test dropped more sharply than they have in over 30 years, and math scores fell for the first time since the test began in the early 1970s.
“I was taken aback by the scope and the magnitude of the decline,” said Peggy Carr, who heads the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers the test. “The big takeaway is that there really are no increases in achievement in either of the subjects for any student group in this assessment — there were only declines or stagnant scores for the nation’s 9-year-olds.”
The scores come from a long-running version of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test known as “the nation’s report card.” It is designed to compare student achievement across decades; the most recent scores were released Thursday.
“It’s clear that COVID-19 shocked American education and stunned the academic growth of this age group,” Carr told reporters on a Wednesday call. “No other factor could have had such a dramatic influence on student achievement in a relatively short period of time.”
Carr said while her team usually shies away from ascribing a reason to score increases or decreases, it’s obvious in this case that the disruptions wrought by the pandemic were a major factor in the declines.
“There is still a widening of the disparity between the top and the bottom performers, but in a different way,” Carr said. “Everyone is dropping. But the students at the bottom are dropping faster.”
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Teacher in Ireland imprisoned for refusing to use ‘gender-neutral’ pronouns
An Irish teacher’s fight against the woke masses has landed him in jail. Enoch Burke allegedly was initially suspended on full pay from the Wilson’s Hospital School temporarily, after refusing a request from the principal to address a transgender student by “they” instead of “he,” according to Irish outlet Independent.ie.
Burke is an evangelical Christian who teaches at Wilson’s Hospital School, a high school that is run by the Church of Ireland. It is co-ed and caters to boarding and day students.
Burke continued to show up to school in order to teach, despite his suspension. As a result, the boarding school got an interlocutory injunction restraining order against him, barring him from coming in the building.
Still, Burke showed up every day to work. Then, “the school’s board of management filed a further application, and on Friday, Justice Miriam O’Regan ordered Burke to be arrested and brought into court” reports National Review.
In court, Burke continued to insist on showing up to school teach, saying, “I love my school. I am here today because I would not call a boy a girl,” the outlet reported.
Not going to work and teaching “is not something I will do. It is in violation of my conscience,” Burke added, claiming his suspension was invalid and that he would’ve had to “commit an act of gross misconduct” for it to be justified, according to the outlet.
“It is reprehensible that anyone’s religious beliefs could be taken as a ground for misconduct or gross misconduct,” Burke said. “Were I to obey the order of the board of management and the order of the court, I would have to accept that sticking by my belief in male and female is wrong.”
“It is not something I will do. It is in violation of my conscience,” he added, saying, “Were I to go into the school and bow to something I know to be manifestly wrong, it would be a shame and a disgrace on my part.”
Justice Michael Quinn ordered Burke be committed to Mountjoy Prison and remain there indefinitely “until he purges his contempt or until further order of this court.”
Burke refused to comply with the court’s order after the judge’s decision, saying, “I cannot purge my contempt by holding my Christian beliefs in contempt.”
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