COVID-19 and learning loss—disparities grow and students need help

The Hechinger Report is a national nonprofit newsroom on education. A recent article, “I can’t do this anymore:’ How Four Middle Schoolers are Struggling through the Pandemic” equates the frustration that students have experienced during the pandemic with that of their teachers. “Myself and my colleagues, we’re working more hours than we ever have in our lives and it never seems like I’m doing enough,” said Andrew Lukov, principal of Southwark School in Philadelphia. Southwark is an urban middle school that had made significant gains in the last few years, all of which are now in jeopardy. Teachers report that “Students might log in for one class, but skip the rest of the school day, or show up for class, but never hand in an assignment.” One student reported: “Before this year, I didn’t like school…But now that I realize that this year is going to be like this, I love school.” But for one student who’d had school problems since kindergarten, online learning “brought him alive.” Many parents and students will recognize the difficulties, but perhaps some of the successes as well.

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