School Closures And Remote Learning Hurt Academic Performance and Learning

  • Covid-era education policies compounded an already dire literacy crisis. Students entered the pandemic with weak academic skills, with only one-third of students reading proficiently and less than one-quarter of 12th graders proficient in math in 2019.
  • According to a McKinsey study, students didn’t just miss out on academic knowledge: “They are at risk of finishing school without the skills, behaviors, and mindsets to succeed in college or in the workforce.”
  • Children are Covid’s lowest-risk demographic, but K-12 students have suffered the most throughout the pandemic at the hands of negligent school district officials and powerful teachers unions.

The Most Vulnerable Children Suffered The Most

  • Studies show that children who had not learned to read before schools closed in March 2020 are still struggling with reading, with the lowest performers being English language learners and students with disabilities.
  • Socio-economic achievement gaps increased significantly during the pandemic, leaving kids in poverty behind.
  • When schools closed, students with disabilities lost their daily structure and routine; their access to speech, occupational, or physical therapy; and their classroom accommodations and assistance.

School Choice is a Solution to Repair Learning Loss

  • School districts are not using federal emergency relief funding to address the learning loss that masking and remote school policies caused. 
  • Policymakers should empower parents to leave their public schools and enroll their children in alternative educational options.
  • State and local leaders should fund students directly by either redirecting existing K-12 education funding or using federal American Rescue Plan funds to create flexible education savings accounts (ESA).

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