Even though schools nationwide are once again open for in-person learning after extended closures during the pandemic, that doesn’t mean that the impact of COVID-19 is over for kids struggling to make up for lost time.
Test scores are way down
While it’s important to note that standardized tests aren’t the final arbiter of how well children are learning, it’s troubling when scores decrease en masse across the board. That’s exactly what has happened in the wake of remote learning due to the pandemic.
One widely used national test showed that scores were down by the largest margin in decades — if not ever. Math scores dipped to their lowest point on record as almost 40% of 8th-grade students could not demonstrate knowledge of even common concepts. Reading results weren’t much better, with scores falling to levels not seen in 30 years.
Most states saw a significant decrease in test scores — and no state saw any improvements worth noting.
There’s more to the story
It’s bad enough that test scores reveal serious lapses in the next generation’s education opportunities, but the disruptions of the past two and a half years have had a range of other troublesome manifestations. Here are some of the most serious issues identified in post-COVID students:
- Increased behavioral problems
- Higher rate of absences among teachers and students
- More mental health concerns
That’s the bad news — but if you’re looking for a silver lining, it might lie in the fact that experts are looking at ways to intervene on behalf of today’s students. From traditional tutoring to offering expanded schedules and summer learning opportunities, educators of all types are up for the challenge if it means ensuring that the students of today don’t become the lost generation of tomorrow.