The Impact of the Pandemic on Education

When will things be able to return to normal in schools? Find out what parents and school administrators need to know to stay safe at school.
 
AUSTIN, Texas - Jan. 19, 2022 - PRLog -- How Has The Pandemic Affected Learning Outcomes?

The 2020-21 academic year was like no other. Now that the school year has passed, we have some early data to assess the impact of the pandemic on learning outcomes.

What happened, and where do we go from here?

Let's start with learning outcomes during the pandemic.

Nationwide Drop In School Attendance, Especially Among Youngest Students

NCES, the National Center for Education Statistics, reports that nationwide there was a steep 13% drop in public school enrollment for children Pre-K and kindergarten students. Grades 1 – 8 saw a 3% decrease. Grades 9 – 12 held steady, with a 0.4% increase.

High school dropout rates are not yet available, but education analysts expect to find huge increases in dropout rates as well as chronic absences. And a recent McKinsey study estimates that there might be an extra 2.3 – 4.6 million 8 – 12 graders absent from school during the pandemic.

The pandemic may also impact college attendance rates in the future, especially among rural students, where college applications have dropped by 18%. The same McKenzie report estimates that 26% of low-income students have abandoned their plans for attending college.

Three-Quarters Of K-12 Students Received In-Person Instruction

The number of primary school students attending virtual classrooms may be lower than we think.

According to data aggregator Burbio, only 2% of US K-12 students received exclusive "virtual-only" instruction during the 2020-21 academic year; while 28% attended "hybrid" schools, and 70% attended in-person classrooms.

On the other hand, 84% of college students received some of their instruction online, according to the NCES.

Postsecondary school students also saw significant turmoil during the 2020-21 academic year. 40% had financial disruptions (29% lost a job or income), and 28% had to change housing.

Difficulties In Performing Formative And Summative Assessments

Distance and hybrid learning has not only disrupted student curriculum and teaching methods, it also disrupted how teachers and schools perform formative and summative assessments.

Many school districts dropped their requirements for students to take standardized tests due to the risk of bringing large numbers of students together in one place.

The pandemic may also be the death knell for traditional college admissions exams, as more institutions dropped the requirement for SAT (or ACT) college applications, spurring a boom in applications to top-name schools. (Unfortunately, many scholarship applications still rely on these tests, putting financial assistance for students who cannot take these tests in person at risk.)

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