Test results show fewer Arlington elementary students grasping the foundations of reading

Close up of student girl hands comparing notes on notebook with laptop at home. Colleges across the United States have been forced into distance learning due to the pandemic, which means they're increasingly reliant on technology for tasks normally performed in person.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Pheelings Media)
Arlington Public Schools is reporting a drop in the number of children grasping fundamental reading skills during distance learning.

Elementary age students recently completed the statewide Phonological Awareness Literacy screening, which tests foundational reading skills.

The results show that Black and Hispanic students and English learners are falling behind this fall during distance learning, according to data from Arlington County Public Schools.

The percent of Hispanic students meeting the benchmark dropped by more than 13 percentage points to 61%. For Black students, this number fell eight percentage points to 79%.

Additionally, 21% of first-grade English learners met the literacy benchmark this fall compared to 46% last year. And 45% of second grade English learners passed the benchmark compared to 74% last fall.

A recent study in Fairfax County found that students in middle and high school are doing worse academically than last year because of distance learning. The study said that learning-disabled students and English-as-a-second-language students are falling significantly behind.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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