Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Dr. Ann Ishimaru, associate professor of educational foundations, leadership and policy, was quoted in an article published by The New York Times about new research tracking the impact of pandemic disruptions on student learning. Using data comparing test results from the past year with earlier years, the findings paint an alarming picture of an education system plagued by racial and socioeconomic inequities that have only gotten worse. But contrary to images conjured by phrases like "learning loss," almost all students made gains during the pandemic, just at a slower rate than normal. Additionally, the usefulness of measuring student performance during a year of upheaval and trauma has been contested. "The problem with the learning loss narrative is it is premised on a set of racialized assumptions and focused on test scores," said Dr. Ishimaru, who engages in community-based research that centers the experiences of BIPOC and immigrant families navigating educational systems. "What if we were to focus on the learning found, and then we rebuild our education systems from that learning?" she added.