Poor Test Scores Show The Effects Of School Closures, Remote Learning

By David Bass
Carolina Journal

Test results in reading, math, and science for the 2020-21 school year show the effects school closures and remote learning have had on public school students in North Carolina.

According to data released by the N.C. State Board of Education on Wednesday, Sept. 1, student performance was lower in all content areas and grades and courses in 2020-2021 when compared to the 2018-2019 school year, the last year for which data are available. The results show that just 45.4% of K-12 students passed state exams last school year.

“N.C. Association of Educators’ president Tamika Walker Kelly called learning loss a ‘false construct.’ These state test scores demonstrate that it is far from false,” said Dr. Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation. “Learning loss was the defining characteristic of student performance during the pandemic. The NCAE may be in denial of the facts, but North Carolina families are not.”

The student achievement data is based on an analysis of all end-of-grade and end-of-course tests. The data show the percentage of students who scored at level 3 and above (grade level proficiency), level 4 and above (college and career readiness), and at each academic achievement level.

In a statement released with the test scores, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt cautioned that they should be taken with a grain of salt. “We need to remember these results are only a snapshot of a year marked by extreme anomalies and extenuating circumstances,” Truitt said. “To treat these scores as though they are valid indicators of future success or performance would not only be an improper use of these data, but also would be a disservice to our students, teachers, and administrators.”

Also released this week was data on the state’s graduation rate for the class of 2021. The news was less dramatic here: The graduation rate declined marginally from 87.6% in 2020 to 86.9% in 2021.

In August, lawmakers passed a measure, Senate Bill 654, exempting the state from having to assign letter grades to schools, issue school report cards, and identify low-performing schools based on the 2020-2021 academic year. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law Monday.

Stoops pointed to this latest batch of test scores as proof that North Carolina families need more options in K-12 education.

“Recovery from learning loss demands an all-hands-on-deck approach,” he said. “It’s not just a public school problem. It’s a North Carolina problem. As such, solutions must come from cooperation between public, private, nonprofit, and sectarian institutions. Children, not institutional ‘turf,’ must be our priority going forward.”


  1. “The Squad of CRT Cult” or Johnston County School Board Isn’t interested in improving learning. They are interested in being loyal to the NCAE or as we call it the Teacher’s Union. Did you folks see how Terri Session NCAE – Member, Treasurer, President of the Teacher’s Union used her power to flip the vote of the miserable failure flip-flopper Lyn Andrews. Lyn Andrews looked about as vacant as Joe Biden does and just voted way she was told too. WEAR THEM USELESS MASK, BY THE ORDER OF THE TEACHER’S UNION AUTHORITY!!!

  2. While terrybarns blathers incoherently about things and people, he ignores the fact that both the school board and the schools have been under performing for a long time. The school board is a joke and embarassment as has been repeatedly reported here. The latest is not the mask issue, which is a good choice by them, but the plan to hire a former employee at a huge price to do what they reportedly hired a high priced engineer to do. But, like so many things, that is forgotten. Speaking of the school board, as anyone check to see if the board members are actually real and actually live here? That has been a problem in the past so I’m just checking.

    I’m guessing that the 650,000 reasons aren’t enough for terrybarns nor his like minded cohorts. Take your ivermectin and whatever other crackpot idea that is the flavor of the day. I have no problem with you denying this is real. Die and cull the herd! I just don’t want you taking innocent ones with you. Science deniers also think Trump won, the moon is made of cheese and that the sun revolves around the earth.

    With people who believe crazy ideas and are told to ignore the rules like this, it is no wonder the kids are not learning.

    BTW… there is a teacher in the Cleveland area that teaches 4th grade who refuses to enforce the mask rule in her class. The vast majority of her kids do not wear masks. With teachers (and by default) principals, not enforcing rules, what can you expect for learning.

    • Here are reasons Ivermectin is SOO bad for you:
      1) It won a Nobel prize for how good it is
      2) It is being given to the afghani people before they are allowed in the US to reduce their virus load
      3) Has a longer safety profile than the jab

  3. Dr. John H, if I wrote with such gifted language arts as you do. I would have never gotten this deserved response from you or others that look down their long nose at me as you do. Please allow me to be privy of the number of 650,000 deaths that you are reporting that have died of natural causes? Maybe you can let us know how many have died of heart failure, stroke and of old age? Let me guess Dr. John H, that no one leaves this earth now days unless it is Covid-19 related? I do appreciate your response Dr. John H, especially when I am still coherent and still able to decipher your message.

  4. That past problem related to BOE members who no longer live in JoCo is interesting. It appears there were candidates who ran in the primary who likely knew there was an ineligible voter sitting on the BOE before the November election. This BOE member’s departure was known and discussed throughout the community. At least a few of these candidates also appeared to know the process that ANY JoCo citizen could follow for challenging that BOE member’s eligibility to vote.

    Had that process been followed and the BOE member been declared ineligible to vote, that individual would likely have had to resign immediately. That resignation would have created another seat to fill on the BOE during the election. Were these candidates so obsessed with their own agendas that they dropped the ball, or did some of them lose interest because they were eliminated in the primary and no longer eligible to run? It certainly makes one wonder if this would have make a difference in the outcome.

  5. Doris R do you remember when the the school board chairman Mr. Sutton was standing shoulder to shoulder with the one you speak of on the court house steps? He knew then he would be appointing her replacement and that she wasn’t living in the county too. There is no difference in Sutton, Wooten or Sessions, all of them are liberal progressive liberal teacher Union operatives that are pushing filthy hate racism onto your kids. “The Squad of CRT Cult” members. Ron Johnson is the only access we have to how they practice their dark shadow business dealing. Remember $180-K-Carroll you don’t have closed door meeting anymore so beware!!!


    • Terrybarns, someone can legally hold office where that individual is eligible to vote for the office he/she holds. While it is not the school board’s job to police voter registration records, it is likely that most or all sitting members knew of the move, and any one of them could have challenged her eligibility to vote.

      However, ANY registered voter in JoCo also could have also filed a challenge to her voter registration prior to the election. This includes friends, neighbors, and personal or political rivals. In addition to sitting board members, this also includes 16 individuals who ran in the primary. Some of those individuals monitored the activity of sitting board members very closely and reported concerns constantly on social media and in previous JoCo Report articles. Why did none of these individuals choose to follow the process to lead her to resign sooner?

      CRT, masks, money, etc. don’t matter when you are too busy to notice that you have the power to change the outcome of an election and drop the ball. Had someone acted, this might have allowed for another viable conservative candidate to claim a seat on the board in November. It’s not just about Sutton and the “liberal progressive” folks; EVERYONE who knew and chose not to act gave Sutton and the sitting board the power to fill that seat in February.

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