Learning loss during COVID-19 pandemic catching up to students

Nation and World News

FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2020, file photo, student Tai Nguyen, right, works on his laptop as instructor Chaya Baras, left, helps student Kenny Scottborough, 19, navigate an online lesson at West Brooklyn Community High School in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — American students have now endured 2 1/2 semesters in a global pandemic and experts say some learning loss is beginning to show.

In Texas, almost 1 million students are now behind their grade level in math after a year of virtual learning. Reading scores in Florida dropped by 4% compared to 2019.

A Kansas statewide survey reports 2 in 5 teenagers feel like they’re behind heading into the fall.

“It’s definitely very telling to us when teenagers are letting us know that they feel like they’re not where they should be walking into this school year,” said Ashley Charest, president of Junior Achievement of Kansas.

One student complained they’ve “mostly just reviewed stuff instead of learning.”

“I don’t think I learned all the social skills that you would have gotten freshman year in person,” another said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 93% of households with school-age children participated in some degree of virtual learning in spring 2020.

Programs for recovery learning are now popping up across the country. Arkansas partnered with PBS to create a summer TV series called “Rise and Shine”

The programs are designed to keep kids learning as COVID-19 cases surge again.

“We do believe that we have some pockets of students who disengaged maybe because they did virtual instruction versus showing up in person,” Arkansas Elementary and Secondary Education Division Deputy Commissioner Stacy Smith said.

Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill that drops the graduation requirement for high school students to prove proficiency in reading, writing or math.

“I don’t think you ever lower expectations. I think that’s a dangerous path to travel down,” Paul Quinn College President Dr. Michael Sorrell said.

Sorrell thinks everyone should get a do-over year. He thinks a year or two of year-round school might be necessary.

“You see it in the NCAA and the NAIA. In athletics, people get a year over in eligibility. Why wouldn’t we do that for the academic side of the house?” Sorrell asked.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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