Media Shows Surprise at Reports COVID Lockdowns Led to Massive Learning Loss – Opinion

A steady stream of stories has been appearing in our nation’s media lately reporting on the staggering learning loss of learning our children suffered under COVID lockdowns.

This is the most frustrating part of this article. Many articles are written in shock and amazement, almost as though the researchers and authors had no clue what was happening. Any parent who knew children living in lockdown states understood that remote learning was a disaster. Many of their protests were vigorous and they fought against the mandates.

“Worse than feared,” the tweet states. Not true—it’s Just what it saysWhat anyone paying attention should have feared.

However, these numbers are alarming. The New York Times report:

…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.

The most concerning finding is the fact that school closings increased both economic and racial inequalities in learning.

Economist Thomas Lane, meanwhile, writes an Atlantic article titled “Kids Are Far, Far Behind in School”: (emphasis mine)

The growth in student achievement was slow to the point where, even at the lowest-poverty school, fall 2021 saw students far behind the pre-pandemic pattern. In effect, the equivalent of 13 weeks’ worth of instruction had been lost by students from low-poverty institutions that had remained remote. Students lost 22 weeks at high-poverty schools who remained remote.

But, being a researcher, the magnitude of these losses was something I found. It is amazing—all the more so because I know that very few remedial interventions have Everyday been shown to produce benefits equivalent to 22 weeks of additional in-person instruction.
– Bold emphasis mine

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer. File

Unsurprisingly, it was the young who suffered the greatest. Forbes reports:

Researchers looking at the impact of the pandemic on children starting in Reception class in 2020/21 – aged four and five – found that just 59% were meeting expected levels of development by the end of the school year, compared with 72% in the previous – pre-pandemic – year’s cohort.

You don’t have to listen anymore, since there are so many reports, but I think you get the point.

Meanwhile, Bill Bennett (ex-Education Secretary) appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the inefficiency of lockdowns.

One of the more interesting things that people haven’t talked about in this study is this: when they looked at the kids who went to school, went back to school late in the fall of, or in the fall of ’20 and then stayed through 2021, the worry about COVID didn’t materialize. The COVID rates for those who went to school were lower than those who stayed at home. This is a lesson I believe we all have to learn.

Almost every story about the loss of learning notes the racial and economic gap—simply, minorities and the poor fared worse. Why? According to The New York Times

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.

Are they looking for a RedState former writer to help them? Actually, admitting the Democrat policies failed miserably isn’t usually their modus operandi. It’s only fitting therefore that they also seem to have written my conclusion for me:

Could many of these issues have been avoided? All evidence indicates that many of these problems could have been avoided. Extensive school closings seem to have caused more damage than good. School administrators could probably have realized this by 2020.

Oh, gee!

I could leave it there because that’s a pretty massive indictment of what happened, but I can’t help myself. We can say that lockdowns failed, our children were hurt, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was slated by the Democrats and press for opening his state.

This must not happen again.

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