Dallas Trustees Lowered the District's Academic Goals Because of the Pandemic. DISD Kindergarteners Are Still Off-Track

Students who sat out pre-K may face challenges when they start school

DISD Kindergartener looks up at teacher through clear mask and protective shield.
The Dallas Morning News

Dallas' youngest learners are further behind than school officials imagined last fall.

Only about 1 of every 4 kindergarteners in the Dallas school district read on grade level, while Black and Latino students lagged behind their white peers, according to new test results.

"We are going to have to think about how we can support our youngest learners the most," Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova said.

The district braced for the pandemic's impact with DISD trustees walking back 2020-21 academic goals in November, to accommodate the unusual nature of this school year and the "COVID-19 learning slide." But meeting less-ambitious goals may still be a stretch.

Children are off-track this year because pre-K programs were disrupted last spring when the pandemic forced schools to shut down, education experts say. Many also had limited access to education opportunities over the summer.

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