Since the start of the pandemic, we at the Center on Reinventing Public Education have had our eyes locked on the experiences of and outcomes for students with disabilities.

As we noted in our inaugural State of the American Student report, students with disabilities lost out on critical therapies and foundational learning and socialization opportunities during the early days of the pandemic. Nearly half (44%) of parents of students with cognitive disabilities reported that schools abandoned their child’s legal right to access an equitable education when they moved to remote learning, according to Understood, a national nonprofit that supports those who think and learn differently.

To establish a baseline understanding of the impact on those students, and to begin to track progress toward helping them recover the knowledge, skills and supports they missed during the pandemic, CRPE commissioned the nonprofit Center for Learner Equity to convene a panel of experts to review the latest research. The goal was to summarize what we know, don’t know and need to know going forward to help students with disabilities.

The top line finding of our new report is — disturbingly — that we still know little about how such students are faring. Less than a third of most rigorous academic studies in the past year disaggregate outcomes for students with disabilities. Most of those few studies are limited to a specific state or locale, which means findings are hard to generalize. Nearly all the studies focus on grades 3 to 8, where state test scores are most readily available.

Read the full article about kids with disabilities by Robin Lake at The 74.