Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Education, Covid-19, Disparities
For two years now, the Covid-19 pandemic has continuously impacted all aspects of our society, including K-12 education. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is thought to be very harmful and have long-term consequences. Understanding this impact is very important, which is why this study focuses on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted K-12 education, specifically how it has impacted academics and behavior while attempting to understand which groups were most impacted. This problem was approached in three different ways. Z-score changes were used to determine the changes by subgroup in the percentage of students failing to meet expectations and exceeding expectations in Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) scores for all available test scores between 2019 and 2021; linear regressions were used to determine which factors led to MCAS score changes in the average test scores, the percentage of students failing expectations, and the percentage of students exceeding expectations between 2019 and 2021 for 3rd, 6th, and 10th grade English Language Arts and Mathematics; and 32 educators from a variety of school districts across Massachusetts were interviewed to further understand the academic impact in schools and to understand how students’ behavior has been impacted as a result of the pandemic. The differences in MCAS scores by subgroup showed an increase in the number of students failing to meet expectations for all test scores and a decrease in the number of students exceeding expectations for almost all test scores between 2019 and 2021; these results also showed students of color and English Language Learner students being more impacted than White students. The linear regression results found that across different grades and subjects, different factors contributed to the change more than others, but Hispanic students were the most likely to lead to an adverse change while students from higher household incomes were the most likely to lead to a positive change. The linear regressions also showed that 6th-grade students were more impacted than 3rd and 10th-grade students and that there was more variance in Mathematics than English Language Arts test scores. Finally, the interviews showed noticeable class-based disparities in schools and a decline in students’ behavior, mental health, and social skills. Overall, the results from this study show that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted K-12 education and that the impact was disparate, which will most likely continue to be an issue as time goes on.
Rosensweig, Sydney, "“Kids are 100% Behind”: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Elementary and Secondary School Students in Massachusetts" (2022). Honors Theses. 2626.