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Sempolinski And The GOP Delegation – What Are The Affects Of Lockdowns?

October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Sempolinski joined with the Republican Delegation of New York to demand answers and transparency from Commissioner Betty Rosa and the New York State Department of Education.

“It is way past time that parents get the answers they deserve and demand. What lasting effects did our extended covid lockdowns have on our children, and why has the NYS Department of Education not been more forthcoming with their data?” said Sempolinski. “We need to have all of the information so that we can do what is best for our children and their education.”

Those who signed the letter with Joe were Congressman Chris Jacobs, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Congresswomen Nicole Malliotakis, Congressman Lee Zeldin, and Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.

Dear Commissioner Rosa,
We write to request you provide us with the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics assessment data. We also request an explanation of the distinction between “preliminary” and “final” assessment data. It is important for the public and policymakers to have this data so we can properly understand the extent of the learning loss suffered by New York State’s students over the past two school years. Failure to release this data in a timely manner raises serious questions about the Department’s commitment to transparency.

A memo from the Department of Education dated June 30 of this year stated that all final state assessment data will be publicly released sometime this fall. This is a change from previous years, in which assessment data was released in August prior to the start of New York’s school year. This is also the first time the Department has noted a distinction between “preliminary” and “final” assessment data. It is unclear however, what the actual distinction is.

The results from the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress showed staggering levels of learning loss for students on the national level. Average scores in 2022 declined five points in reading and seven points in math compared to 2020. This is the largest average decline in reading since 1990 and the first ever decline in math. The results also showed worsening achievement gaps, as students who were already struggling in school or come from disadvantaged backgrounds suffered disproportionately. It is hard to believe New York State’s data does not show similar, if not worse, levels of learning loss at the state level.

School districts in New York are supposed to be using a portion of the $9 billion received from the American Rescue Plan to address learning loss. For lawmakers at the federal and state level to properly assess how that money is being spent, we need to know the full scope of the problem our students and schools are facing.
We eagerly await your response.