From the NYT: How liberal states failed their children during the pandemic....

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
109,011
81,673
113

‘Not good for learning’​


When Covid-19 began to sweep across the country in March 2020, schools in every state closed their doors. Remote instruction effectively became a national policy for the rest of that spring.

A few months later, however, school districts began to make different decisions about whether to reopen. Across much of the South and the Great Plains as well as some pockets of the Northeast, schools resumed in-person classes in the fall of 2020. Across much of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings stayed closed and classes remained online for months.

These differences created a huge experiment, testing how well remote learning worked during the pandemic. Academic researchers have since been studying the subject, and they have come to a consistent conclusion: Remote learning was a failure.

In today’s newsletter, I’ll cover that research as well as two related questions: How might the country help children make up the losses? And should schools have reopened earlier — or were the closures a crucial part of the country’s Covid response?

A generational loss


Three times a year, millions of K-12 students in the U.S. take a test known as the MAP that measures their skills in math and reading. A team of researchers at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research have used the MAP’s results to study learning during a two-year period starting in the fall of 2019, before the pandemic began.

The researchers broke the students into different groups based on how much time they had spent attending in-person school during 2020-21 — the academic year with the most variation in whether schools were open. On average, students who attended in-person school for nearly all of 2020-21 lost about 20 percent worth of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

Some of those losses stemmed from the time the students had spent learning remotely during the spring of 2020, when school buildings were almost universally closed. And some of the losses stemmed from the difficulties of in-person schooling during the pandemic, as families coped with disruption and illness.

But students who stayed home for most of 2020-21 fared much worse. On average, they lost the equivalent of about 50 percent of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

“We have seen from this recent study just how large the gaps are,” Roberto Rodríguez, an assistant secretary in President Biden’s Education Department, told me.

The findings are consistent with other studies. “It’s pretty clear that remote school was not good for learning,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University economist and the co-author of another such study. As Matthew Chingos, an Urban Institute expert, puts it: “Students learned less if their school was remote than they would have in person.”

One of the most alarming findings is that school closures widened both economic and racial inequality in learning. In Monday’s newsletter, I told you about how much progress K-12 education had made in the U.S. during the 1990s and early 2000s: 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, fell further behind over the past two years, relative to students who are high-income, white or Asian. “This will probably be the largest increase in educational inequity in a generation,” Thomas Kane, an author of the Harvard study, told me.

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

Why? Many of these schools are in major cities, which tend to be run by Democratic officials, and Republicans were generally quicker to reopen schools. High-poverty schools are also more likely to have unionized teachers, and some unions lobbied for remote schooling.

Second, low-income students tended to fare even worse when schools went remote. They may not have had reliable internet access, a quiet room in which to work or a parent who could take time off from work to help solve problems.

Together, these factors mean that school closures were what economists call a regressive policy, widening inequality by doing the most harm to groups that were already vulnerable.

A catch-up effort


Congress has tried to address the learning loss by allocating about $190 billion for schools in pandemic rescue bills. That amounts to more than $3,500 for the average K-12 student in public school.

Rodríguez, the Education Department official, said he was encouraged by how schools were using the money. One strategy with a documented track record is known as high-dosage tutoring, he noted. Sessions can involve three or four students, receiving at least a half-hour of targeted instruction a few times a week.

Kane is more worried about how schools are using the federal money. He thinks many are spending a significant chunk of it on nonacademic programs, like new technology. “I’m afraid that while school agencies are planning a range of activities for catch-up, their plans are just not commensurate with the losses,” he said.

By the time schools realize that many students remain far behind, the federal money may be gone.

What might have been


Were many of these problems avoidable? The evidence suggests that they were. Extended school closures appear to have done much more harm than good, and many school administrators probably could have recognized as much by the fall of 2020.

In places where schools reopened that summer and fall, the spread of Covid was not noticeably worse than in places where schools remained closed. Schools also reopened in parts of Europe without seeming to spark outbreaks.

In October 2020, Oster wrote a piece in The Atlantic headlined “Schools Aren’t Superspreaders,” and she told me this week that the evidence was pretty clear even earlier. By the fall of 2020, many people were no longer staying isolated in their homes, which meant that reopened schools did not create major new risks.

The Washington Post recently profiled a district in Colorado where schools reopened quickly, noting that no children were hospitalized and many thrived. “We wanted it to be as normal as possible,” Chris Taylor, the president of the school board, said.

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

Over the past two years, the U.S. has suffered two very different Covid problems. Many Americans have underreacted to the pandemic, refusing to take lifesaving vaccines. Many others have overreacted, overlooking the large and unequal costs of allowing Covid to dominate daily life for months on end.
 

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
30,983
63,698
113
lol "Schools aren't Superspreaders"
Clearly the person who wrote that headline doesn't currently have a kid in school. I get an email every week telling me how many times my kid has been exposed by others in their class. Still. Now. It used to come about 4 times a week (yes, someone in one of my kids classes tested positive just about every day) but apparently some people complained about getting too many emails so they changed it to just once a week.
But right, those kids aren't spreading it to one another. It's just coincidence.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Barnstormers Hoops

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
109,011
81,673
113
lol "Schools aren't Superspreaders"
Clearly the person who wrote that headline doesn't currently have a kid in school. I get an email every week telling me how many times my kid has been exposed by others in their class. Still. Now. It used to come about 4 times a week (yes, someone in one of my kids classes tested positive just about every day) but apparently some people complained about getting too many emails so they changed it to just once a week.
But right, those kids aren't spreading it to one another. It's just coincidence.

Send your nasty tweets to David Leonhardt @ NYT

 

Jan Itor

HR Legend
Jan 31, 2009
27,621
11,702
113
lol "Schools aren't Superspreaders"
Clearly the person who wrote that headline doesn't currently have a kid in school. I get an email every week telling me how many times my kid has been exposed by others in their class. Still. Now. It used to come about 4 times a week (yes, someone in one of my kids classes tested positive just about every day) but apparently some people complained about getting too many emails so they changed it to just once a week.
But right, those kids aren't spreading it to one another. It's just coincidence.

Yet they closed the schools in favor of virtual classes far too long. Why?
 

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
30,983
63,698
113
Yet they closed the schools in favor of virtual classes far too long. Why?
Who did? My kids were out of school for about an extra 2 weeks before they started up virtually. And I'm in a 'liberal state.'
 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
16,251
16,715
113
lol "Schools aren't Superspreaders"
Clearly the person who wrote that headline doesn't currently have a kid in school. I get an email every week telling me how many times my kid has been exposed by others in their class. Still. Now. It used to come about 4 times a week (yes, someone in one of my kids classes tested positive just about every day) but apparently some people complained about getting too many emails so they changed it to just once a week.
But right, those kids aren't spreading it to one another. It's just coincidence.
Where did those other kids pick up COVID? Was it in school, or some other place? Obviously that's a rhetorical question.
 

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
30,983
63,698
113
Where did those other kids pick up COVID? Was it in school, or some other place? Obviously that's a rhetorical question.
Yes, all of them picked it up off campus. Every day. Every one of them. Like i said, it was all a big coincidence.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BGHAWK

mauricehawki

HR MVP
Feb 15, 2006
1,265
1,023
113
Switching to remote learning without anytime to prepare for it didn't work. Gosh I would never have guessed that would be a huge failure. Realistically I would imagine it would take years of planning to switch to a successful remote learning. We have taught kids in person for hundreds of years. You can't flip a switch like that overnight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nelly02

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
16,251
16,715
113
A friend of mine is an assistant principal at an elementary school. She said remote learning was a big waste of time. No way to enforce attendance, or even lessons. Obviously nobody was prepared for remote learning, and it can be improved. Also, older kids are better equipped.
 

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
30,983
63,698
113
Cities in your liberal state and others. These weren't state level decisions. School districts and the teacher's union ( @Tom Paris) fought to keep kids away from the classroom
Oh yeah? Which? How long? You seem very well informed. Please break down how we did.
 

SI_NYC

HR MVP
Dec 15, 2001
1,454
2,263
113

‘Not good for learning’​


When Covid-19 began to sweep across the country in March 2020, schools in every state closed their doors. Remote instruction effectively became a national policy for the rest of that spring.

A few months later, however, school districts began to make different decisions about whether to reopen. Across much of the South and the Great Plains as well as some pockets of the Northeast, schools resumed in-person classes in the fall of 2020. Across much of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings stayed closed and classes remained online for months.

These differences created a huge experiment, testing how well remote learning worked during the pandemic. Academic researchers have since been studying the subject, and they have come to a consistent conclusion: Remote learning was a failure.

In today’s newsletter, I’ll cover that research as well as two related questions: How might the country help children make up the losses? And should schools have reopened earlier — or were the closures a crucial part of the country’s Covid response?

A generational loss

Three times a year, millions of K-12 students in the U.S. take a test known as the MAP that measures their skills in math and reading. A team of researchers at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research have used the MAP’s results to study learning during a two-year period starting in the fall of 2019, before the pandemic began.

The researchers broke the students into different groups based on how much time they had spent attending in-person school during 2020-21 — the academic year with the most variation in whether schools were open. On average, students who attended in-person school for nearly all of 2020-21 lost about 20 percent worth of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

Some of those losses stemmed from the time the students had spent learning remotely during the spring of 2020, when school buildings were almost universally closed. And some of the losses stemmed from the difficulties of in-person schooling during the pandemic, as families coped with disruption and illness.

But students who stayed home for most of 2020-21 fared much worse. On average, they lost the equivalent of about 50 percent of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

“We have seen from this recent study just how large the gaps are,” Roberto Rodríguez, an assistant secretary in President Biden’s Education Department, told me.

The findings are consistent with other studies. “It’s pretty clear that remote school was not good for learning,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University economist and the co-author of another such study. As Matthew Chingos, an Urban Institute expert, puts it: “Students learned less if their school was remote than they would have in person.”

One of the most alarming findings is that school closures widened both economic and racial inequality in learning. In Monday’s newsletter, I told you about how much progress K-12 education had made in the U.S. during the 1990s and early 2000s: 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, fell further behind over the past two years, relative to students who are high-income, white or Asian. “This will probably be the largest increase in educational inequity in a generation,” Thomas Kane, an author of the Harvard study, told me.

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

Why? Many of these schools are in major cities, which tend to be run by Democratic officials, and Republicans were generally quicker to reopen schools. High-poverty schools are also more likely to have unionized teachers, and some unions lobbied for remote schooling.

Second, low-income students tended to fare even worse when schools went remote. They may not have had reliable internet access, a quiet room in which to work or a parent who could take time off from work to help solve problems.

Together, these factors mean that school closures were what economists call a regressive policy, widening inequality by doing the most harm to groups that were already vulnerable.

A catch-up effort

Congress has tried to address the learning loss by allocating about $190 billion for schools in pandemic rescue bills. That amounts to more than $3,500 for the average K-12 student in public school.

Rodríguez, the Education Department official, said he was encouraged by how schools were using the money. One strategy with a documented track record is known as high-dosage tutoring, he noted. Sessions can involve three or four students, receiving at least a half-hour of targeted instruction a few times a week.

Kane is more worried about how schools are using the federal money. He thinks many are spending a significant chunk of it on nonacademic programs, like new technology. “I’m afraid that while school agencies are planning a range of activities for catch-up, their plans are just not commensurate with the losses,” he said.

By the time schools realize that many students remain far behind, the federal money may be gone.

What might have been

Were many of these problems avoidable? The evidence suggests that they were. Extended school closures appear to have done much more harm than good, and many school administrators probably could have recognized as much by the fall of 2020.

In places where schools reopened that summer and fall, the spread of Covid was not noticeably worse than in places where schools remained closed. Schools also reopened in parts of Europe without seeming to spark outbreaks.

In October 2020, Oster wrote a piece in The Atlantic headlined “Schools Aren’t Superspreaders,” and she told me this week that the evidence was pretty clear even earlier. By the fall of 2020, many people were no longer staying isolated in their homes, which meant that reopened schools did not create major new risks.

The Washington Post recently profiled a district in Colorado where schools reopened quickly, noting that no children were hospitalized and many thrived. “We wanted it to be as normal as possible,” Chris Taylor, the president of the school board, said.

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

Over the past two years, the U.S. has suffered two very different Covid problems. Many Americans have underreacted to the pandemic, refusing to take lifesaving vaccines. Many others have overreacted, overlooking the large and unequal costs of allowing Covid to dominate daily life for months on end.
It was great for my daughter. It allowed her to focus. Now she's doing better than ever. Is it all due to being at home? Probably not, but it was part of the equation.
 

doughuddl2

HR All-American
Sep 5, 2009
4,364
3,334
113
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday expressed support for reopening schools after the holiday break, offering guidance that contradicts the push from some teachers unions to keep schools shuttered.

Fauci told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos that despite the rising cases of the omicron variant, he believes reopening schools for in-person learning is the right call given widespread vaccinations among teachers and the negative effects on students of not attending in-person.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
45,813
37,197
113
39
Meh my kids learned to read online. Although to be fair they always had my wife there helping them.

I am guessing remote learning doesn't work if a kid is left to his own devices.
 
  • Like
Reactions: binsfeldcyhawk2

artradley

HR Legend
Apr 26, 2013
29,881
52,403
113
lol "Schools aren't Superspreaders"
Clearly the person who wrote that headline doesn't currently have a kid in school. I get an email every week telling me how many times my kid has been exposed by others in their class. Still. Now. It used to come about 4 times a week (yes, someone in one of my kids classes tested positive just about every day) but apparently some people complained about getting too many emails so they changed it to just once a week.
But right, those kids aren't spreading it to one another. It's just coincidence.

Without researching for the hundredth time, it was pretty settled by fall of 2020 that schools were not a major contributor to community spread, and that children were not particularly vulnerable to COVID. It's why most European countries did not go virtual for nearly as long as we did. It's also why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in-school learning.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Old_wrestling_fan

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
30,983
63,698
113
Without researching for the hundredth time, it was pretty settled by fall of 2020 that schools were not a major contributor to community spread, and that children were not particularly vulnerable to COVID. It's why most European countries did not go virtual for nearly as long as we did. It's also why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in-school learning.

Sweet, it's good to know that all those kids got it from someone else. Every day.
 

Joes Place

HR King
Aug 28, 2003
119,553
110,751
113
Send your nasty tweets to David Leonhardt @ NYT

Kewl
Someone wrote an Op Ed at the NYTs
 
  • Like
Reactions: HawkNester

tarheelbybirth

HR King
Apr 17, 2003
66,407
48,871
113
lol "Schools aren't Superspreaders"
Clearly the person who wrote that headline doesn't currently have a kid in school. I get an email every week telling me how many times my kid has been exposed by others in their class. Still. Now. It used to come about 4 times a week (yes, someone in one of my kids classes tested positive just about every day) but apparently some people complained about getting too many emails so they changed it to just once a week.
But right, those kids aren't spreading it to one another. It's just coincidence.
Sweden ran the biggest experiment. They kept elementary and lower secondary schools open and closed 9-12 schools. Teachers in the open schools had double the risk of infection and their partners' risks were ~30% higher than those working remotely. An analysis placed teachers at open schools in 7th place out of 124 Swedish occupations for risk of infection.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BelemNole

Big Hawk D-Port

HR Heisman
Nov 29, 2004
6,107
6,863
113

‘Not good for learning’​


When Covid-19 began to sweep across the country in March 2020, schools in every state closed their doors. Remote instruction effectively became a national policy for the rest of that spring.

A few months later, however, school districts began to make different decisions about whether to reopen. Across much of the South and the Great Plains as well as some pockets of the Northeast, schools resumed in-person classes in the fall of 2020. Across much of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings stayed closed and classes remained online for months.

These differences created a huge experiment, testing how well remote learning worked during the pandemic. Academic researchers have since been studying the subject, and they have come to a consistent conclusion: Remote learning was a failure.

In today’s newsletter, I’ll cover that research as well as two related questions: How might the country help children make up the losses? And should schools have reopened earlier — or were the closures a crucial part of the country’s Covid response?

A generational loss

Three times a year, millions of K-12 students in the U.S. take a test known as the MAP that measures their skills in math and reading. A team of researchers at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research have used the MAP’s results to study learning during a two-year period starting in the fall of 2019, before the pandemic began.

The researchers broke the students into different groups based on how much time they had spent attending in-person school during 2020-21 — the academic year with the most variation in whether schools were open. On average, students who attended in-person school for nearly all of 2020-21 lost about 20 percent worth of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

Some of those losses stemmed from the time the students had spent learning remotely during the spring of 2020, when school buildings were almost universally closed. And some of the losses stemmed from the difficulties of in-person schooling during the pandemic, as families coped with disruption and illness.

But students who stayed home for most of 2020-21 fared much worse. On average, they lost the equivalent of about 50 percent of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

“We have seen from this recent study just how large the gaps are,” Roberto Rodríguez, an assistant secretary in President Biden’s Education Department, told me.

The findings are consistent with other studies. “It’s pretty clear that remote school was not good for learning,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University economist and the co-author of another such study. As Matthew Chingos, an Urban Institute expert, puts it: “Students learned less if their school was remote than they would have in person.”

One of the most alarming findings is that school closures widened both economic and racial inequality in learning. In Monday’s newsletter, I told you about how much progress K-12 education had made in the U.S. during the 1990s and early 2000s: 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, fell further behind over the past two years, relative to students who are high-income, white or Asian. “This will probably be the largest increase in educational inequity in a generation,” Thomas Kane, an author of the Harvard study, told me.

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

Why? Many of these schools are in major cities, which tend to be run by Democratic officials, and Republicans were generally quicker to reopen schools. High-poverty schools are also more likely to have unionized teachers, and some unions lobbied for remote schooling.

Second, low-income students tended to fare even worse when schools went remote. They may not have had reliable internet access, a quiet room in which to work or a parent who could take time off from work to help solve problems.

Together, these factors mean that school closures were what economists call a regressive policy, widening inequality by doing the most harm to groups that were already vulnerable.

A catch-up effort

Congress has tried to address the learning loss by allocating about $190 billion for schools in pandemic rescue bills. That amounts to more than $3,500 for the average K-12 student in public school.

Rodríguez, the Education Department official, said he was encouraged by how schools were using the money. One strategy with a documented track record is known as high-dosage tutoring, he noted. Sessions can involve three or four students, receiving at least a half-hour of targeted instruction a few times a week.

Kane is more worried about how schools are using the federal money. He thinks many are spending a significant chunk of it on nonacademic programs, like new technology. “I’m afraid that while school agencies are planning a range of activities for catch-up, their plans are just not commensurate with the losses,” he said.

By the time schools realize that many students remain far behind, the federal money may be gone.

What might have been

Were many of these problems avoidable? The evidence suggests that they were. Extended school closures appear to have done much more harm than good, and many school administrators probably could have recognized as much by the fall of 2020.

In places where schools reopened that summer and fall, the spread of Covid was not noticeably worse than in places where schools remained closed. Schools also reopened in parts of Europe without seeming to spark outbreaks.

In October 2020, Oster wrote a piece in The Atlantic headlined “Schools Aren’t Superspreaders,” and she told me this week that the evidence was pretty clear even earlier. By the fall of 2020, many people were no longer staying isolated in their homes, which meant that reopened schools did not create major new risks.

The Washington Post recently profiled a district in Colorado where schools reopened quickly, noting that no children were hospitalized and many thrived. “We wanted it to be as normal as possible,” Chris Taylor, the president of the school board, said.

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

Over the past two years, the U.S. has suffered two very different Covid problems. Many Americans have underreacted to the pandemic, refusing to take lifesaving vaccines. Many others have overreacted, overlooking the large and unequal costs of allowing Covid to dominate daily life for months on end.
Tomorrow’s breaking news from the New York Times:

“Telling kids they can be whatever gender they feel like leads to poor long term mental health outcomes.”
 

theiacowtipper

HR Legend
Gold Member
Feb 17, 2004
14,084
11,879
113
Progressive states aren’t perfect and perhaps made some wrong decisions during the pandemic, although with the intention of protecting kids, which isn’t all bad. I would accept that.

However, red states fail their students every day. Consistently, red state schools are the least Funded, the least performing, and graduate the least educated students by near.y any measure. Only New Mexico, of all blue states, consistently ranks in the bottom 10. Blue state leaders may have made some choices that turned out incorrect, but they did it with good intentions. Red state leaders make a conscious and absolute choice to underfund schools and perpetuate a horrible system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TC Nole OX

hawkland14

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Feb 26, 2013
7,208
7,070
113
Progressive states aren’t perfect and perhaps made some wrong decisions during the pandemic, although with the intention of protecting kids, which isn’t all bad. I would accept that.

However, red states fail their students every day. Consistently, red state schools are the least Funded, the least performing, and graduate the least educated students by near.y any measure. Only New Mexico, of all blue states, consistently ranks in the bottom 10. Blue state leaders may have made some choices that turned out incorrect, but they did it with good intentions. Red state leaders make a conscious and absolute choice to underfund schools and perpetuate a horrible system.
Lol. This response is something. As long as intentions are good no reason to question.
Team Blue is proud of your service.