Since March, the college admissions test process has become a string of hits and misses for students, test providers of the ACT and SAT, and colleges trying to inject equity into a chaotic admissions process. Many seniors were ultimately unable to test or decided that the effort was not worth it. With senior testing now complete, test capacity should open up for juniors who have been unable to test so far. With that in mind, those juniors planning to test in the first half of 2021 should prepare now to ensure their test plan succeeds.
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One fear many parents express to us is the potential for long-term negative effects from an extended virtual school experience. Many parents share this fear. In an April survey by Learning Heroes, fifty-four percent of parents expressed concern about keeping their child on track for grade level, and a similar percent expressed concern that school closures and changes would have a negative impact on their child’s education. Little has changed for students over the course of the spring semester, summer, and subsequent return to virtual education in the fall, with many students unaccounted for or unable to attend on a regular basis.
While each student responds differently, we find most are not thriving in the current distance-learning environment. Even high achievers are finding the expected level of self-instruction and class management to be exhausting and defeating. This week, Maryland’s State Superintendent urged school systems to start bringing students back in limited numbers to counter the perceived effects. While many predictions were being made about the potential for learning loss during the early days of the pandemic, we are just now starting to see real data from standardized test results that can quantify the effect.