The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Test Scores Even Lower with the Pandemic

Sep 12, 2022

FLASH: Scores on the standardized tests known as M-STEP that are administered in Michigan’s school districts are down sharply compared to test scores before the pandemic hit.

FLASH: While scores were down everywhere, the biggest declines were in districts that offered the most remote instruction.

Should anybody be surprised that what has been called “virtual learning”—resulted in practically no learning at all for a huge chunk of the student population, especially in working class and poor areas, including rural communities?

Should anybody be surprised that the decline wasn’t as sharp in districts that had hybrid, or even resumed in-person learning in 2021—districts in wealthier communities that had the resources to reduce classroom sizes; hire more teachers and teachers aides, install ventilation systems; and configure some outside classroom spaces?

Test score disparities are nothing new. Historically, scores on standardized tests rolled out by the government have shown a common denominator: the main dividing line between who has higher scores and who has lower scores is social class. The gap has always existed, and with the pandemic, it grew.

So, while politicians and education experts debate and study the problem and what should be done, the solution is obvious: a tidal wave of money and resources should go to the public school system to guarantee that children of working people have access to the same programs, facilities, and staff, as exist in wealthy districts.

And then some.

With no debate about where the money should come from. It’s there.