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Voters Should Demand Accountability for School Closures

Education Pre K-12

New data from the Nation’s Report Card reveal kids suffered more academically in states that closed public schools longer.

The scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress — also known as the Nation’s Report Card — were released on Monday, showing steep declines in reading and the largest declines in mathematics since the initial assessments over three decades ago.

These staggering drops in academic outcomes were not evenly distributed. At least three independent analyses of the new data indicate that children generally suffered more academically in states that closed public schools longer. Brown University economist Emily Oster said the results were “very consistent with what we’ve seen in state-level data, which suggests that places that had the most in-person learning lost less than the places that had more virtual learning.”

Harvard professor Martin R. West separately analyzed the data and found that “students lost more ground on average where remote instruction was more prevalent,” although he also noted that “the relationship’s strength is relatively weak.” Professor West additionally found that “red states lost 7.2 NAEP scale score points in 8th grade math, on average, while blue states lost 8.8 points.”

Continue reading the entire piece here at National Review Online


Michael T. Hartney is a faculty member in the department of political science at Boston College and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Corey DeAngelis is a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children.

This piece originally appeared in National Review Online