Study Ranks 5 Texas Towns In The 20 Least Educated Cities
The negative outcomes from COVID lockdowns continue to reverberate across America. Groups like UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) have called the learning loss "nearly insurmountable".
According to experts from UNICEF, students have lost basic number and letter skills in many cases where schools were closed. But they add that its not just about the direct learning, students faced high levels of anxiety and depression due to isolation and the hovering threat of increased lockdowns.
The Brookings Institute found that a major concerning trend was found between low-poverty and high-poverty areas. The gaps between these two groups grew by double-digit percentages in performance. Where high-poverty areas now perform 20% worse in math, and 15% worse in reading, than their low-poverty peers.
As The Hechinger Report points out (in an Associated Press story), it wasn't just the lack of school access in high-poverty areas that caused learning loss, anxiety, and depression among these students. Pandemic lockdowns took away their parents' jobs, and shined light on the lack of computer access many experience.
The Hechinger Report shows that learning loss is directly tied to school systems who remained out-of-class, and in 'distance learning', longer. The students who spent more time locked out of their schools have seen much more learning loss than those who returned quicker.
Also included in the Hechinger Report's coverage of the AP research, is what happened in areas who returned to classes faster than others. Of the schools who gained the most ground in Math and Reading, 9 of the 10 districts were either located in Alabama or Texas, two states who lifted pandemic lockdowns faster than others.
Even with areas like Texas gaining ground academically, they're still behind many in the US. There's some new research that shows multiple Texas school districts falling at the bottom of the national rankings.