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How has the pandemic affected students with disabilities? An update on the evidence: Fall 2022

This report is the second installment of an updated set of papers that assess the best available evidence on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected America’s students.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education has compiled hundreds of studies and convened multiple panels of education experts to interpret the data. Three initial reports released in 2021 assessed what we knew to date about the pandemic’s effects on students’ academic progress, its effects on their mental health and social-emotional well-being, and its impact on students with disabilities.

In 2022, we released an updated report about the status of student achievement. This report updates how students with disabilities are faring. But, we still know very little about their academic and social progress. Less than a third of rigorous analyses on the pandemic’s impact on students disaggregated outcomes for students with disabilities. And questions around compensatory services and eligibility for special-needs services, as well as the sheer number of underqualified educators working with these students, is challenging efforts to accelerate academic support. This report was led by the Center for Learning Equity, which works with education leaders to help students with disabilities receive high-quality learning opportunities.

In all, the 2021 and 2022 reports explore what we know, don’t know, and need to know at this stage of the pandemic. They’re designed to help system leaders, community leaders, policymakers, researchers and philanthropists define ambitious goals and clear metrics that ensure our education system meets every student’s needs in the coming years. Information gathered for these reports also informed our inaugural State of the American Student report in 2022, which offers a roadmap for academic recovery efforts at the national, state and local level.

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