Every Picture Tells a Story: Schools' Lost Year

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The push to reopen schools continues, as does the back and forth between the CDC’s school-opening guidelines and the teachers' unions saying “not so fast.” Could we all agree that remote learning has not adequately replaced in-class learning? Here is some data to consider.

McKinsey & Company made use of data provided by Curriculum Associates, a company that devises curriculum and testing used by “30 percent of K–8 students across the US.” They did fall assessments of student knowledge, which reflected the remote learning from March to June, comparing similar evaluations made in the fall during 2017 to 2019. For those concerned about the “summer dropoff” in remembering, using data from each fall would compensate for that event. 

“…students in their sample learned only 67 percent of the math and 87 percent of the reading that grade-level peers would typically have learned by the fall.2  On average, that means students lost the equivalent of three months of learning in mathematics and one-and-a-half months of learning in reading. The learning loss was especially acute in schools that predominantly serve students of color, where scores were 59 percent of the historical average in math and 77 percent in reading.”

And those historical averages are already lower than historical averages for white students. While the deaths attributable to COVID-19 are disturbing, the quiet devastation to those we so vociferously support, with words rarely deeds, continues. This breach in education will reverberate for years. It is time to find a way to reopen the schools  

Source: COVID-19 and learning loss—disparities grow, and students need help