The longer urban schools stayed closed the worse their fourth-graders are doing in math, concludes an analysis of National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP) data by The 74, writes Asher Lehrer-Small. Looking at districts, rather than states, showed the link.
“The districts with more remote learning have larger test score losses,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University economics professor who also analyzed the results.
“It was very hard for the little kids to focus on Zoom,” said Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education. Her research finds school closures led to “severe negative academic impacts, especially for younger students and those living in poverty.”
“Schools stayed closed too long, especially in urban areas,” Lake said, noting that her judgment is much easier to make now with the benefit of hindsight as opposed to during the height of COVID when the science on infections and transmissibility was still coming into focus.
The variation in the NAEP results represents “shades of badness,” she said. “Some states are celebrating not being as bad as other states, but nobody has much to celebrate here.”
We need to admit that school closures were a mistake, writes Derek Thompson in The Atlantic. Yes, there are other factors explaining why students learned less, he writes, but this was the big one.