Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:
One of the values of standardized testing is predictive data – years upon years of correlating test performance with grade-level performance in high school and college courses. In its May research and policy brief, ACT shares its student performance estimates based on this historical data and predicts the impact of school closures on ACT performance. Some key takeaways below:
The Impact of In-School vs. Out-of-School
The table below summarizes the research on typical per-month gains for students in-school versus out-of-school:
What does it add up to?
Typically, an ACT composite score increases by 1.96 points over a school year and decreases by 0.43 points over the summer–a net gain of 1.53 points per year. By shifting two months of classroom instruction to typical summer losses, the students would instead see a net gain of only 0.82 points per year. While this may seem to be a relatively small effect, this decrease may indicate a large effect on overall student achievement and college readiness, admissions, and scholarship eligibility across districts and states.
ACT goes on to model a number of scenarios–including early starts to the school year and e-learning options offered by schools–and estimates their eventual impact on ACT growth. We’re taking this data in combination with other research on “COVID slide” and learning loss to ensure that students working with our instructors don’t lose ground at this time.
This initiative is bolstered by ACT’s research; they found that English and Math–two more skill-based subjects–tend to suffer most over the summer. English is typically the area where Academic Approach students see the most significant gains, and we’re using the extra time we have now to dig further into math through targeted modules to ensure students stay on track. Moreover, we’ve seen the importance of continued academic support during summer months in our own research; last school year, our students testing in the fall saw the greatest growth from their diagnostic ACT test.
We will keep you informed as further analysis of this data arises. Do let me know if you’d like more information about the new math modules. We are here to help.
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO