(WKBN) – Research released this week from college entrance exam test preparer ACT shows students are showing a slight rebound from the learning losses suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s not much.

It found that despite inconsistencies in mode of learning, there are signs that academic achievement may be stabilizing with the class of 2023 as most students have returned to in-person learning.

There is pandemic-related research that showed declines in student achievement with pronounced losses in math and some in reading. The research showed the effects have lingered across multiple school years.

Eleventh graders of 2002 compared to 2021 experienced a slight rebound in academic achievement, but ACT composite scores were still lower for the 2022 11th grade students compared to pre-pandemic students.

In addition, the slight rebound was not seen in all racial or ethnic groups, the research showed. The scores rebounded for students who are Black or white but decreased slightly for Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

The study solidified what many students, teachers and parents already knew is that in-person learning leads to greater academic achievement than learning online. A Harvard study found that remote learning was the primary driver of widening achievement gaps.

The ACT study showed the effects of the pandemic will “likely” persist for several years, but there are positive signs of score rebounds with 2022 11th graders. That means that learning gains for the class of 2023 could be even better.

The key to closing the gap, according to ACT, is for accelerated learning to continue for future students with a focus on racial and ethnic groups mentioned earlier and low-income families.