BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than a year into the pandemic, and the negative effect remote learning has had on students is becoming clear.

Studies show in grades one through four, 10% fewer students are at their grade level in reading than there would have been without the pandemic. In math, that number jumps to 16%.

READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Most Of The Region Could See Severe Storm Sunday Evening

“That’s really an enormous decrease of proficiency,” said David Steiner, director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy.

And in Black and Hispanic communities, Steiner said this pandemic is making a bad situation, even worse.

“We started the COVID situation with major achievement gaps between different groups of our students, with African American and Hispanic students achieving at tragically lower levels than their Asian peers. What’s happened is that COVID situation has made that worse,” Steiner said.

READ MORE: No Victim Found After Crews Search Lake Roland For Man

While a traditional response would be to remediate or hold a student back, Steiner said that may not be the best option.

“First of all, psychologically, you’re saying to a student we’re going to treat you as a child who is behind, who is identified in a sub-performing group and as we remediate you, you know perfectly well that your on-grade peers, your on-grade level peers, are moving still further ahead so it’s like a receding horizon, you never catch up,” Steiner said.

Instead, he recommends what he calls acceleration.

“It’s not a question of trying to recover all that’s lost, it’s a question of saying in order to access next week’s lesson, right? On whatever is the bluest eye, a whole number of functions in your mathematics, we know you absolutely need to master this piece of knowledge, the skills, that’s all we’re going to teach you,” Steiner.

MORE NEWS: Maryland Inmates Can Now Earn A Bachelor's Degree From Georgetown University

Steiner recommends implementing this acceleration technique sooner rather than later to prevent students from falling further behind.

Sean Streicher