Report: Pandemic-era Grades Chalk Up More Fs

Failing grades are up during the pandemic. 

That’s not a surprise and not limited to Loudoun County’s public middle and high school students who have been learning online for the past 11 months. However, a report prepared for the School Board on Tuesday night provides an update on those trends with a look at the results of the year’s second grading period. 

According to the report, middle school students in grades 6-8 landed fewer As and Bs and more Ds and Fs as compared to the past two years. This year, 63.7% of grades were As, a 2% decline from last year. B grades saw a larger decline, down 2.7% to 20.3%. Meanwhile, 4.2% of grades were Fs, up 3% compared to last year. D grades were up 1.1% to 3.3%.  

At the high school level, students saw more A grades—up 4.7% to 57.5%—the highest level in the past three years. B grades dropped by 4.6% to 22.1% last marking period. There also were fewer C and D grades compared to previous years. However, F grades increased to 6.9%, compared to 3.8% in 2018-19 and 3.9% last year. 

Loudoun’s middle and high school students have been limited to remote learning since school campuses closed last March at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many special needs and elementary school students were able to participate in the hybrid program that provides at least two days of in-person learning per week, that option has not been available to secondary school students. Hybrid learning was suspended for all students just before the winter break in December.

The School Board last week voted to restart the hybrid learning program Feb. 16 and to expand it to middle and high school students by March 3. 

2 thoughts on “Report: Pandemic-era Grades Chalk Up More Fs

  • 2021-02-09 at 1:17 pm
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    The irrationally paranoid, aggressively ignorant, anti-science, selfish, lazy LCPS teachers have stolen 6 months and 7 lives (suicides) from these kids. It is time for the teachers to show some inkling of concern for student interests. We know they will never put students remotely in the same universe as teacher interests but at some point, how evil can you be to just keep punishing litle kids?!

    #6months7livesStolen

  • 2021-02-12 at 8:31 pm
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    “The media have portrayed President Biden’s goal of reopening the majority of K-12 schools in his first 100 days as so far-reaching that the timeline might have to be extended.

    Enter White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who explained on Tuesday that the administration defines a school as open if it holds in-classroom instruction at least once a week.

    By this metric, the goal isn’t really having more than half of schools open — it’s having more than half of schools still 80 percent closed.

    Not only is this a ridiculous standard, schools have already cleared the bar. According to the online service Burbio, which runs a school-opening tracker, about two-thirds of K-12 students are attending in-person or hybrid schools.

    This goalpost moving exemplifies how the Biden team isn’t pushing nearly hard enough on school reopening.

    The issue has gone from being something of a red vs. blue battle line last year to a cross partisan area of consensus. In intellectual and moral terms, the debate over reopening schools has been won, but political progress has been slow, mainly because powerful teachers unions are standing in the way.

    If Biden wanted to add a touch of unity to his governing agenda, he would call out the unions for being an obstacle to educational and economic progress at a challenging time for the country.

    White House defends Biden’s goal to reopen 50 percent of schools by end of April

    The science is clear enough, if that matters. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “There has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”

    This make the costs of school closures and remote learning all the harder to bear.

    A July estimate from consulting giant McKinsey concluded that students may have lost three months to a year of learning, depending on the exact circumstances. Then there are the social costs for children, among them higher rates of depression and anxiety.

    School closures have pulled women out of the labor force to bear the brunt of all the juggling that has to go on at home.

    Nonetheless, teachers unions have fought reopening and help stymie reopening in cities and blue states. Most schools in California have been remote. Elementary schools reopened in New York, but not middle schools or high schools.

    School districts in the Washington, DC, region are floating a parodic solution to reopening — have kids return to the classroom so they can gather to watch remote teachers on computer screens.

    Somehow private schools have largely managed to stay open — in part, because if they don’t, no one gets paid.

    In contrast, public-school teachers are in a position to make demands even to consider coming back and doing their jobs.”

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