Study: Idaho students struggled with blended online learning

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LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) – Students suffered significant academic setbacks during the coronavirus pandemic, especially those in school districts that used hybrid or online learning models, according to two studies.

The Idaho State Board of Education chief researcher presented the findings to the board on Thursday.

The Lewiston Tribune reported that Cathleen McHugh told the board that the GPA for ninth graders dropped from March 2020 to March 2021.

She said school districts that used a hybrid model saw a drop in GPA of 0.13 and districts that went fully online saw a drop in GPA of 0.09. Districts that offered in-person classes year round saw no change.

RELATED: Idaho Student Scores Drop in Math and English Tests

McHugh said those numbers translate to hundreds of students running out of Idaho scholarships and direct college admission programs.

“If students do not increase their GPA, it will impact their eligibility for scholarship and direct admission programs,” she said.

McHugh said economically disadvantaged students saw their GPA decrease by 0.22 and 0.23 points, respectively, in hybrid and online schools.

For English language learners, the drop was 0.38 points and 0.41 points. Migrant students saw a drop of 0.42 points and 0.58 points.

“These students must now increase their GPA over the next three years in order to become eligible for these programs,” McHugh said.

The second study found the likelihood that more students would achieve a D or an F in some of the compulsory math and English courses offered in Grades 9 to 12.

“We know there has been unfinished learning, and it has been more important for our (disadvantaged) populations,” said Council of State President Kurt Liebich. “From a political point of view, I think we will manage this for years. “

RELATED: Ways to Help Your Kids Prepare for Another Pandemic School Year


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