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The COVID Academic Slide Could Be Worse Than Expected

Three years later, the COVID slide hasn’t stopped.

New research suggests students still haven’t regained the academic ground they’ve lost in the disruptions of the ongoing pandemic, and many high school students will continue to struggle after graduation.

The average high school junior who took the ACT college-entry test in spring 2021 fell from the 50th to the 46th percentile across English, reading, math, and science–equal to about three months of learning–compared to performance in 2020 and 2019. As a result, the ACT figures, two fewer students out of every 100 who took the test last spring are on track to do well in college courses after graduation.

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