State superintendent: ‘Failure rates are up and grades are down’ during pandemic


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in Alabama’s schools are forcing parents and students to re-adjust to full-time virtual learning.   

State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey says the challenges the coronavirus pandemic has placed on public schools are only growing, especially when it comes to virtual learning.   

“I’ve talked to several superintendents and they say that failure rates are up and grades are down significantly,” Dr. Mackey said.  

But despite the drop in grades from virtual learning, Dr. Mackey says sometimes there’s just no other choice if coronavirus cases spike.  

“There comes to a point where there are not enough adults, and you have to close schools for a couple of weeks,” he said.  

Mackey shot down rumors that the state may close down all public school between Thanksgiving and Christmas to help fight coronavirus outbreaks. But he did say that individual school systems might be forced to do so if the pandemic worsens. 

Mackey said it will take several months to know the exact impact virtual learning will have on students and their ability to learn. He says once the state has a better picture of the impact, the state school board will work on plans to help those students who are lagging behind get up to pace.  

That process could last into the summer of 2022.  


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