Study: Learning Stunted By Pandemic
A Dutch study says school closures hurt learning, one of many that have reached that seemingly obvious conclusion. But questions are being raised whether measuring that learning loss harms children.
COVID-Related School Closures Linked With Learning Loss
An 8-week national school closure in the Netherlands was associated with an equivalent loss in learning, with disproportionate losses in students from lower-educated families, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. To assess the effects of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers looked at national test results for spelling, reading, and math from 350,000 Dutch students ages 8 to 11. The national tests occurred before and after the lockdown (January to February plus June 2020), and the researchers included the previous 3 years' test results as a baseline. (4/8)
The New York Times:
Does It Hurt Children To Measure Pandemic Learning Loss?
Studies continue to show that amid the school closures and economic and health hardships of the past year, many young children have missed out on mastering fundamental reading and math skills. The Biden administration has told most states that unlike in 2020, they should plan on testing students this year, in part to measure the “educational inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.” But others are pushing back, especially on behalf of the Black, Hispanic and low-income children who, research shows, have fallen further behind over the past year. They fear that a focus on “learning loss” could incite a moral panic that paints an entire generation as broken, and say that relatively simple, common-sense solutions can help students get back up to speed. (Goldstein, 4/8)
In other school news —
Some Wisconsin Schools Shed Mask Requirements After Court Ruling
A week after the state Supreme Court threw out Wisconsin's mask requirement, some schools are no longer requiring face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This week the Paris Consolidated School District in Kenosha County stopped requiring masks. District Administrator Roger Gahart emailed families Monday, explaining that since the district never had its own mask policy, the end of the statewide mandate meant masks became optional in the district. "Our district is simply leaving the choice of wearing face masks or not wearing face masks up to the people," Gahart said in an emailed statement. (Linnane and Marley, 4/8)
Los Angeles Times:
Parents Sue LAUSD, Push For Wider Reopening, No COVID Tests
A group of parents — who say their children have been illegally shortchanged by Los Angeles Unified School District’s return-to-school plan — is seeking a court order to force the district to reopen “to the greatest extent possible” within seven days. The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday, asks the court to prohibit L.A. Unified from using a six-foot distancing standard in classrooms, while also seeking to bar the district from requiring students to take regular coronavirus tests as a condition for returning to campus. (Blume, 4/8)
Salt Lake Tribune:
Salt Lake City Is Going To Start Classes An Hour Later So High Schoolers Can Sleep In
When the new academic year begins in August, all three traditional high schools in the Salt Lake City School District — East, West and Highland — will push their start times back by an hour. And district officials say their hope is that students take advantage of the new schedule to get a little more sleep. “That’s a pretty significant gain, so I’m happy with that,” said Arundhati Oommen, a junior at West High and a student member of the district’s board of education. (Tanner, 4/9)