While it may seem obvious that closing down schools for two years might have some negative consequences on learning achievement, the data are officially in. In fact, the shutdowns erased two decades of progress in math and reading from the United States' overall ratings.
However, that national average only reflects the big picture of the nation. States with the longest remote-learning environments tended to have the worst academic performance. States that kept their schools open, since kids tended to not have much trouble with Covid-19, performed much better.
In fact some states that typically perform in the bottom of these ratings system, like Louisiana and Alabama, actually saw increases during the pandemic.
The Daily Wire analyzed the data and charted 4th-grade reading proficiency based on whether the state had a Republican governor or a Democrat governor during 2020-21.
You can see that the red states trend in the more in-person learning, higher-performance quadrant, while the blue states trend in the less in-person learning, lower performance quadrant, though there are obviously exceptions to these trends.
8th-grade math was much the same, except that there was zero improvement in any state, which is concerning, but states like Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Washington had upwards of 12% decreases due to low amounts of school attendance.
8th grade marks the transition from arithmetic to pre-algebra or algebra for most students, which requires a huge mind shift in basic mathematical function. It's no wonder in-person instruction is important there.
Anyone who has any sort of memory will recall that teachers' unions were the biggest opponent of reopening schools. They called the very idea "racist and sexist."
But guess which groups saw the greatest declines because of the teachers' unions fighting reopening schools?
Communities of color were the most affected by far.
The Democrats threw all kinds of money at the problem with the The American Rescue Plan, which was used to raise teachers' salaries while the students fell further behind.
The only trouble I have with these results is that none of these studies control for curriculum. These states are hardly teaching the same materials anymore, whether remote or in person.
Luckily, Virginia voters chose to replace their governor with a Republican.
In the assessment world, there's a theory called cognitive load, which aims to focus an assessment on only the metric being tested.
For example, if I want to know whether a student knows what 2+2 is, I would just ask what 2+2 is. However, if I layer on the idea that math is racist, and sometimes 2+2 can equal 5, suddenly the student is balancing several ideas at once for which there are no standardized answers, and the student is almost certainly going to do poorly on a standardized test.
That's hardly the lockdown's fault, leftists: