Projecting the impact of the COVID-19 spring school closures on student learning


By: Megan Kuhfeld


As the COVID-19 pandemic upended the 2019-20 school year for millions of students, education systems scrambled to meet the needs of students and families, including planning how best to approach instruction during the 2020-21 school year given students may be farther behind than in a typical year. Yet, education leaders have little data on the impacts of school closures on learning. While the COVID-19 learning interruptions are unprecedented in modern times, existing research on the impacts of missing school (due to regular summer breaks, school closures related to weather, and absenteeism) on learning can nonetheless inform projections of potential learning loss due to the pandemic. In this talk, Kuhfeld will discuss a series of projections of COVID-19-related learning loss and its potential effect on test scores in the 2020-21 school year. Additionally, she will outline on-going work to measure student learning between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years in the context of mostly remote test administration this fall.

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