US test scores indicate significant learning loss during COVID

US test scores indicate significant learning loss during COVID
A student receives a dose of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on the first day of in-person classes at a public school in San Juan City, Philippines, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Eloisa Lope

You’ve heard it before – during the pandemic, everything was disrupted. And part of that everything was kids’ education, which took a hit when children had to stay home from school. Some places did remote learning; others did forms of homeschool (which parents were famously not the biggest fans of), but almost every school student worldwide had to spend some time away from the classroom.

So far, though, there haven’t been many concrete indicators of just how much learning or learning loss actually happened because of the pandemic. But, a new report just came out in the US. And, it isn’t good.

The US Education Department released what it calls the Nation’s Report Card, which essentially indicates how well students across the country are doing. Experts say it’s bad. They’re comparing the learning loss for some children to the patterns seen after The Great Depression, and they’re saying that kids who have been negatively affected will never catch up to their peers. “We’re seeing a lot of … long-term progress completely erased over the course of a couple of years," said education researcher Dan Goldhaber.

Key comments:

“I don’t think we can expect to see these 9-year-olds catch up by the time they leave high school,” said Dr. Aaron Pallas, a sociology and education professor at Teachers College, Columbia, in New York. “This is not something that is going to disappear quickly.”

“We must recognize this moment for the urgency it carries: Our students—and the progress of our country—depend on it,” said US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, calling the report card a call to action.