I think we will spend many, many years learning how the Covid pandemic upended our society. We lost so many lives. We know that.
It’s the other things that we are still coming to terms with. Like education.
From the New York Times: The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading. The paper goes on to say that the results of a national test showed just how devastating the last two years have been for 9-year-old school children, especially the most vulnerable.
Turns out math and reading scores for nine year old kids fell dramatically during the first two years of the pandemic. The declines hit every region of the country. Every gender. Every race.
Here’s the scary part. Reading scores had their sharpest decrease in thirty years. Math scores fell for the first time in the fifty year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test.
The commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, Peggy Carr, says, “I was taken aback by the scope and the magnitude of the decline.”
Dr. Carr also says, “High and low performers had been diverging even before the pandemic, but now the students at the bottom are dropping faster.”
Until now, scores in reading and math have been trending upward or at least holding steady. Not anymore.
When the pandemic first started, I think we were all amazed at what we could do from home. I read the news from my family room for weeks. It wasn’t perfect, but I did it.
To this day, our editorial meetings are held by Zoom. We still do live interviews by Zoom. I don’t expect that to change.
As for education, I think we can all agree that in person learning is the best. The results of this test give us proof.
My friends in education say trying to teach with students at home was difficult. As we know, many have left the profession all together.
The country is experiencing a teacher shortage. The Biden administration is stepping in.
First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, met with cabinet members and education leaders to discuss ways to fix the problem.
Low pay and Covid concerns are among the reasons teachers are leaving the profession. The White House is partnering with job search firms to help school districts recruit and hire more teachers.
The administration is also looking at ways to boost teacher salaries.
In Florida, Governor DeSantis is addressing the teacher shortage by recruiting first responders and retired military.
The more I write here, the more I realize we have a big problem with education in our country. Falling test scores. Teachers leaving the profession.
What we lost during Covid? It’s going to take years to recover. Years to even discover what’s lost.