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HCS Highlights Post-Pandemic Academic Successes and Receives National Recognition for Learning Gains

November 10, 2022


(Hoover, AL) - The Hoover City Schools District (HCS) is highlighting its post-pandemic learning gains in math and reading recovery for students. During the Hoover Board of Education  (HBOE) meeting on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, HCS Chief Learning Officer Dr. Chris Robbins presented research conducted by Stanford and Harvard Universities. The research used national assessments (Nation’s Report Card) and state assessments (ACAP in Alabama) to evaluate learning gains or losses in reading and math over the last three years. The “Education Recovery Scorecard” included 3,700 districts across 29 states and Washington, D.C. The national study recognizes HCS for overall positive academic outcomes and for substantial learning gains for students in poverty, black students, and Hispanic students. 


Dr. Robbins said, “Nationally, the average student lost more than half of a year of learning in math and a quarter of a year in reading from 2019 to 2022. This research also indicates that many subgroups, particularly black students, Hispanic students, and students in poverty, were negatively impacted by learning losses to an even greater extent than white students. But that’s not the case in Hoover City Schools and what’s so exciting is seeing these subgroups make academic gains at a rate that is the same or greater than their average classmates in Hoover City Schools.” 


  • From 2019 to 2022 district-wide, Hoover students showed learning gains of +.35 in math and +.39 in reading, equivalent to about three to four months of learning in each area. The national research results showed this was an uncommon outcome. 


  • HCS landed on four National Top 10 lists for districts with substantial learning gains for students in poverty, black students, and Hispanic students. 


  • According to this study, those specific subgroups also showed increases of three to four months of learning equivalence gains in reading and math in 2022 compared to 2019. Most districts saw losses in these areas.


One of the key takeaways Dr. Robbins shared with the HBOE is that HCS students are among a very small number of students nationally that attend school in a district that has shown student learning gains since 2019.

  • Reading - only 14.8% of students in the nation attend school in a district that showed gains from 2019-2022

  • Math - only 2.5% of students in the nation attend school in a district that showed gains from 2019-2022

Dr. Robbins says Hoover students are making uncommon gains compared to area districts, our state, and our nation. The district has a lot to celebrate. The success was a team's collaborative effort — support staff, district leadership, principals, teachers, students, and families working together for these remarkable results for Hoover schools. Alabama shines, leading the nation in overall math and reading recovery after the pandemic. And specifically, HCS stands out among the success stories for overall positive outcomes and subgroup learning gains. 


Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee O. Fowler said, “The praise goes to administrators, teachers, students, and parents for their hard work, diligence, and remaining steadfast in their efforts to recover from the learning losses. We have high expectations for our teachers and students, and we’re seeing the results of those expectations. We’re delighted about the learning gains and national recognition for Hoover schools, and we are indeed celebrating those successes. To our teachers and support staff, you should be very proud of your outstanding work in the classroom.”


“Our principals have led well over the last few years during challenging times, and teachers have done amazing work through their interventions and strategies. Our students still have room for growth in reading and math, and we will be working hard to sustain our gains,” added Dr. Robbins.