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‘Not good for learning’

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When KOVID began to spread across the country on March 19, 2020, schools in each state closed their doors. Remote directing effectively became the national policy for the rest of that spring.

A few months later, however, the school districts began to make various decisions about whether to reopen. In most of the South and Great Plains, as well as in some pockets in the Northeast, schools resumed individual classes in the fall of 2020. In most parts of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings were closed and classes were online. Month

These differences created a great experiment by testing how well remote learning worked during an epidemic. Academic researchers have studied the subject, and they have consistently come to the conclusion: remote learning was a failure.

In today’s newsletter, I will include that research as well as two related questions: How can the country help children meet the deficit? And did schools have to reopen earlier – or were the closures an important part of the country’s cowardly response?

Three times a year, millions of K-12 students in the U.S. take the MAP exam, which measures their math and reading skills. A team of researchers from Harvard’s Education Policy Research Center has used MAP results Study learning over a period of two years Beginning in the fall of 2019, before the epidemic began.

Researchers divided students into different groups based on how much time they spent attending school individually in 2020-21 – the most varied academic year depending on whether the schools were open or not. On average, students attending individual school for almost all of 2020-21 lost about 20 percent of the value of a normal school year math learning in the two-year window of study.

Some of those losses stemmed from the time students spent learning from a distance in the spring of 2020, when school buildings were closed almost globally. And some of the losses were caused by the difficulty of individual-school education during the epidemic, as families faced disruption and illness.

But the students who stayed at home most of the time in 2020-21 performed very poorly. On average, they lost about 50 percent of the normal school year math learning in the two-year window of study.

“We have seen from this recent study how big the gaps are,” Roberto Rodriguez, assistant secretary of education to President Biden, told me.

The findings are consistent with other studies. “It’s pretty clear that distance school wasn’t good for learning,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University economist and co-author of another study. As Matthew Chingos, an expert at the Urban Institute, puts it, “Students would learn less if they were farther from school than from individuals.”

One of the most frightening findings is that economic and racial inequality in learning has increased as schools have closed. In Monday’s newsletter, I spoke about how much progress K-12 education made in the United States in the early 1990’s and early 2000’s: math and reading skills improved, especially for black and Latino students.

The Covid closures have reversed much of that progress, at least for now. Low-income students, as well as black and Latino students, have lagged behind higher-income, white or Asian students over the past two years. “This will probably be the biggest increase in educational inequality in a generation,” Thomas Kane, author of the Harvard study, told me.

There are two main reasons. First, schools with large numbers of poor students were more likely to move away.

Why Many of these schools are in major cities, run by democratic authorities, and Republicans generally were. Fast To reopen schools. Schools with high poverty are also more likely to have unionized teachers and some unions Lobbying for distance school education.

Second, low-income students showed a tendency to get worse when schools were far away. They may not have reliable internet access, a quiet working room or a parent who can take time off from work to help solve problems.

Together, these factors mean that school closures are what economists call retrogressive policies, widening inequality by doing the most harm to already weakened groups.

Congress has sought to address the teaching disadvantage by allocating about $ 190 billion to schools in pandemic rescue bills. That is more than 500 3,500 for an average K-12 student at a public school.

Rodriguez, an education official, said he was excited about how schools were using the money. A strategy with a document track record is known as high dose tutoring, he noted. Sessions can involve three or four students, with at least half an hour of targeted instruction received a few times a week.

Ken is more concerned about how schools are using federal money. He thinks many are spending a large part of it on non-educational programs, such as new technology. “I fear that while school agencies are planning various activities for catch-up, their plans do not match the deficit,” he said.

When schools realize that many students are far behind, federal money may have run out.

Can many of these problems be avoided? Evidence suggests they were. Extended school closures appear to have done more harm than good, and many school administrators could recognize more by the fall of 2020.

In that summer and fall, Kovid’s spread was not significantly worse than in schools where schools reopened and schools were closed. Schools also reopened in parts of Europe without seeing the outbreak.

In October 2020, Oyster wrote a piece entitled Atlantic.Schools are not superspreaders“And she told me this week that the evidence was already clear. By the fall of 2020, many people were no longer living alone in their homes, which means that reopened schools did not create huge new risks.”

The Washington Post Recent profile In a district of Colorado where schools soon reopened, no children were hospitalized, and many were reported to be thriving. “We wanted it to be as normal as possible,” said Chris Taylor, chairman of the school board.

Hundreds of other districts, especially in liberal communities, instead closed schools for a year or more. Authorities said they were doing so to protect children, especially the most vulnerable. However, the effect was often the opposite.

In the past two years, the United States has experienced two very different problems. Many Americans have reacted less to the epidemic, refusing to take life-saving vaccines. Ignoring the huge and uneven costs that have allowed Kovid to dominate daily life for months, many others have reacted overwhelmingly.

Biden should do more to improve life in prison John J. LennonHe says he has been in jail since 2002.

Robert Golique said he feels like the world’s most expensive food-delivery pilot – probably because he uses a plane.

Just this morning, the pilot for Alaska Air Transit, Golike, was loading a nine-seater plane with mail, products, diapers and other essentials, bound for a remote Alaskan area where there are no grocery stores or restaurants. Also on board: two DoorDash orders, including Steak Taco and Chinese Takeout.

Dozens of smaller regional airlines fly people and cargo to remote communities across the state. Once or twice a month, residents can order “city food” to break the monotony of food. “It’s not hot. It’s not fresh,” said one resident. “But at the same time, it has the flavor you want.”

There were pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee Carping, Crapping And Pransing. Here’s today’s puzzle – or you can play online.

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