Tennessee education commissioner accused of misleading about learning loss

Chalkbeat Tennessee says during a call with superintendents on Friday Schwinn described the data as “estimated predictions.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Educators and lawmakers from across the state are criticizing the Tennessee Department of Education for data it released, showing Tennessee students were experiencing a “significant” learning loss due to schools being closed from COVID-19.

But it turns out much of that data was based on testing done before the pandemic, according to Chalkbeat Tennessee, a non-profit news organization focused on education issues.

It was an announcement that got everyone’s attention.

Tennessee education commissioner Penny Schwinn released data to show the impact prolonged school closures were having on Tennessee students.

“Because of some of these building closures and because of the impacts of COVID-19, we are seeing a significant decrease in the proficiency of students entering school this fall,” said Schwinn.

Schwinn said data showed a 50 percent decrease in third-grade

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