Schools Confronting Devastating Learning Losses as Students Head Back to the Classroom

Students are reaping the consequences of COVID shutdowns as schools return to the classroom this fall.

QUICK FACTS:
  • According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a number of 2022 reports indicate that teachers saw a decline in their student’s ability to learn due to school shutdowns.
  • “For a series of 2022 reports, we surveyed teachers about students’ potential learning loss during the pandemic,” GAO’s website states. “They told us that many students struggled to learn during the pandemic because of its disruption.”
  • During the 2020-2021 school year, the office found that in all grades nearly two-thirds of teachers had more students who made less progress than a traditional school year.
  • Their findings documented that students from high-poverty areas and those learning English were the highest impacted from the closures.
  • “For two years, schools and researchers have wrestled with pandemic-era learning setbacks resulting mostly from a lack of in-person classes,” The Wall Street Journal said in a recent article. “They are struggling to combat the learning loss, as well as to measure just how deep it is.”
REP. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI) ON THE IMPACT OF SCHOOL SHUTDOWNS:

“The simple fact is that school shutdowns are much more harmful to children than COVID-19 is, and by once again closing down schools, we’re blatantly ignoring this reality,” Gallagher said IN JAN. 2022.

BACKGROUND:
  • In Aug. 2021, American Faith reported on the homeschooling phenomenon that doubled during COVID as a result of lockdowns and school closures.
  • “In Virginia alone, we have seen over a 48 percent increase in homeschoolers for the last school year. We went from 44,000 to 65,000 homeschoolers,” Yvonne Bunn, director of homeschool support and government affairs with Home Educators Association of Virginia said at the time.
  • “Parents are wanting to move in the direction of doing something else … even the parents who work. We’ve been amazed by the number who want to continue to work from home so they can continue to teach their children,” Bunn said.
  • “It hasn’t been defensible since fall of 2020, when every school in America should have opened and stayed open,” John Daniel Davidson, Senior Editor at the Federalist, said in Jan. 2022. “This happened because people in power didn’t really care about the kids, and they still don’t. Parents: do whatever you have to do to pull your kids from public school.”