Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Thomas J Ward

Committee Member

Steven R Staples

Committee Member

James H Stronge


The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the school closures that occurred in the spring of 2020 on student learning. Using reading and mathematics MAP Growth data from four consecutive academic years, this study compared changes in student outcomes to determine if students, especially those who had economic disadvantage, had different academic outcomes than their peers. Research concerning typical student learning trajectories, patterns of summer learning loss, and existing academic achievement gaps was used to develop the hypothesis that fifth-grade students who experienced the pandemic would begin sixth grade significantly behind their expected level of performance. Findings from this analysis revealed that students maintained their levels of reading achievement but showed less than expected growth in mathematics. Socioeconomic status was identified as a statistically significant factor impacting reading and mathematics achievement for all four cohorts of students, whether or not they experienced the pandemic. In addition, students who were lost to attrition began the study with lower performance than their peers. These two factors have important implications for educators and policy makers as schools begin to reopen for traditional, in-building instruction.


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