Utah has been called a “bright spot” in a post-pandemic analysis of K-12 student achievement — a credit to steps that schools took to prioritize in-person learning while keeping students healthy and safe.
Compared with schools nationally, Utah experienced the least amount of COVID-19-related learning loss, according to data released this fall by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In fact, Utah was only state to see zero decline in 8th grade math scores, putting its schools on a steady path to recovery.
Education officials have credited Utah’s prioritization of in-person learning and such innovations as test-to-stay protocols that allowed schools to remain open while slowing the spread of COVID-19 by identifying students and employees who needed to isolate and get better at home.
“These scores reflect the tremendous work of our teachers, administrators, and support staff who, amid great uncertainty and fear, showed up for kids,” said Canyon Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins. “We still have work to do to help some of our students rebound from instructional time lost due to quarantines and sick days, but we’re at a great starting point and making gains every day.”
Indeed, end-of-year RISE scores show Canyons District on an especially sharp recovery. CSD
students in 2022 outperformed their Utah peers on third-, fifth- and eighth-grade standardized tests by as much as 15 percentage points. Our high school juniors also outscored their counterparts on the ACT, a test used for college admissions. The 2022 average composite score for CSD students was 20.7, the same composite as earned by juniors in 2018-2019. CSD’s graduation rate also held steady.
“I am so proud of this District for all we continue to accomplish against great challenges,” said Dr. Robins. “Utah’s public schools — Canyons District schools, in particular — were a reliable safe haven from the social and economic disruptions wrought by the health crisis, which is certainly something to celebrate.”