Charlotte-area school officials discuss test scores and other ongoing academic challenges
Since the pandemic began last year, schools were forced to make difficult decisions to balance safety and academics. Although Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools stayed mostly online, nearby districts returned to in-person learning for much of the year.
While nearly every North Carolina school district saw a drop in test scores during the pandemic, CMS often saw larger drops than those in nearby districts, according to a report from WFAE. Proficiency for economically disadvantaged fifth graders in CMS, for example, show a drop by 31 percentage points in science.
But many decisions were made last year in the interest of safety. Vaccines were unavailable and school boards received changing and sometimes contradictory guidance from health officials.
We speak to officials from Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Iredell-Statesville Schools, as well as WFAE reporters Ann Doss Helms and Steve Harrison, who analyzed two years of elementary school test scores resulting in a three-part series on the academic impacts of the pandemic on local public schools.
Dr. Matt Hayes, deputy superintendent of academics for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Dr. Jeff James, superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools
Ann Doss Helms, reporter for WFAE
Steve Harrison, reporter for WFAE