In our nation’s capital, the public school system is still aggressively enforcing a Covid-19 policy and protocols keeping students out of the classroom resulting in a dramatic drop in test scores.

The Washington D.C. Public School system encompasses 115 schools and almost 50,000 children.  DCPS has recently sent children and families thousands of Covid-19 test kits, requiring the students and staff to submit a negative test before returning to classes on Monday after a short spring break. According to Fox 5 News, these restrictions directly correlate to plummeting test scores in the district.

From grades 3 through 8, only 31% of students met expectations of English competency in 2021-2022, which is a 6% decline from 2018-2019 before the Covid outbreak according to the D.C. Policy Center. In 2018-2019, 31% of students tested proficient in math, but in 2021-2022 only 19% of students were proficient in math, an absolute collapse in test scores.

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) has been a benchmark test throughout the nation to determine a student’s abilities for college and overall assessment of their high school learning career. In the 2021-2022 school year, just 18% of DCPS high school students met SAT benchmarks for readiness, and those students of color had their scores drop by 3% over previous years to an extreme low of 9% readiness.

In a press release discussing the scores and safety measures of the school system, Lewis D. Ferebee, DCPS chancellor said “In implementing our Safe Return testing program in December and February, we were able to keep our schools open as students, families and staff returned to the classroom following week-long breaks. Our priority is to keep our students safely learning in the classroom, where we know they learn best. We appreciate the partnership of our entire community to collectively take this step to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.

The DCPS still requires any student testing positive for Covid-19 to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the time symptoms arise. Before the spring break period, only 9 students tested positive for Covid-19 out of almost 50,000.

According to a Fox 5 News report, this is the fourth time the school district has required negative Covid-19 test results after returning from a break in the 2022-2023 school year.

The D.C. schools say it’s “health and safety measures” strictly follow the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) however the CDC no longer requires or recommends that K-12 school children or faculty be tested on a regular basis.