Statement from Secretary of Education on National Center for Education Statistics' Data Showing Student Recovery Throughout the 2021-2022 School Year

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Statement from Secretary of Education on National Center for Education Statistics' Data Showing Student Recovery Throughout the 2021-2022 School Year

August 4, 2022

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released the statement below following the release of the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) June 2022 data that highlights an improvement in student performance and three-quarters of public schools offering summer learning and enrichment programs to help students catch up.

"When the Biden-Harris Administration came into office, we knew we had to take urgent action to get schools reopened, get students back on track, and make sure they had the mental health supports they needed. This data shows that through the efforts of this Administration, and with the strong partnership of school leaders, teachers, school staff, families, parents, and students across the country, students have made significant progress just over the course of the 2021-2022 school year," said Secretary Cardona. "Additionally, this data shows that school districts across the country are using American Rescue Plan funds to expand access to summer learning and enrichment programs, hire more school counselors, meet the mental health needs of students and educators, accelerate student learning, provide high-quality tutoring, and more. As we continue to move through recovery, we must work together to help students succeed by improving the education system so that our students are given every opportunity to achieve at much higher levels than March 2020 and truly thrive."

Key findings from the NCES school pulse panel include:

  • 56 percent of public schools using high-dosage tutoring to support pandemic learning recovery with the most school leaders rating this strategy as extremely or very effective
  • 75 percent of public schools offering summer learning and enrichment programs, with 33 percent of these schools reporting that they increased their summer learning and enrichment programs
  • A double-digit drop in the percentage of students that schools are reporting are behind grade level in at least one subject (from the beginning to the end of the 21-22 school year)
  • 72 percent of public schools offering mental health supports
  • Nearly all public schools offering in-person learning

Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in evidence-based solutions that are driving academic recovery and providing additional mental health supports. Since education was disrupted in March 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized recovery for students through multiple efforts. In addition to providing $130 billion in ARP funds for K-12 education to support the safe reopening of K-12 schools and to meet the needs of all students, the Biden-Harris Administration:

  • Launched the Engage Every Student Initiative. To support summer learning and afterschool programs, the Department launched the Engage Every Student Initiative that will help communities utilize ARP funds, alongside other state and local funds, to ensure that every child who wants a spot in a high-quality out-of-school time program has one, whether through a high-quality summer or afterschool program.
  • Highlighted schools effectively supporting students and shared best practices. The Department launched a campaign through the Best Practices Clearinghouse to highlight and celebrate evidence-based and promising practices implemented by states, schools, and school districts using ARP funds to support learning recovery, increased academic opportunities, and student mental health. The updated Best Practices Clearinghouse is the next phase of the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse that the Department launched in spring 2021, originally designed to share best practices around safely reopening schools, addressing inequities made worse by the pandemic, and providing summer learning and enrichment opportunities to help students get reconnected to their communities, peers, and educators.
  • Launched the National Parents and Families Engagement Council. In order to empower parents and school communities with knowledge about how their schools are using and can use federal funds to provide the necessary academic and mental health supports, the Department launched the National Parents and Families Engagement Council to facilitate strong and effective relationships between schools and parents, families, and caregivers.
  • Made it easier for families and stakeholders to see how their states and school districts are using ARP funds by requiring State Educational Agency and Local Educational Agency plans for using ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and making those plans accessible to the public through an interactive map.
  • Will continue to track progress in providing additional learning opportunities. The Institute for Education Sciences, the Department of Education's statistics, research, and evaluation arm, will continue to use monthly surveys to track schools' continued progress in providing summer learning and enrichment, tutoring, and afterschool supports.