Historical earnings patterns make it is possible to estimate what the learning losses documented by NAEP will cost the average student in the Covid-cohort: 6 percent lower lifetime earnings than those not in this cohort. In other words, the pandemic learning losses for this cohort are equivalent on average to a 6 percent income tax surcharge throughout the students’ working lives.
The entirely expected recent data on COVID-19 learning losses should not be allowed to paper over more fundamental education problems. Release of the long-term NAEP test scores last month confirmed what we already knew from earlier NAEP releases: that achievement test scores plummeted across the country after COVID-related school closures in early 2020.
But virtually no attention has been paid to the fact that there were major NAEP losses —heavily skewed against disadvantaged students — well before the COVID shutdowns.
The nation is stuck with a bad deal on teacher salaries: salaries insufficient to attract new teachers who can fuel improved schools and yet not even high enough to satisfy current teachers. One result has been uncompromising rhetoric replacing viable solutions. The Chicago teachers' strike continued the strife that played out last year from West Virginia to Los Angeles. Sequential appeasement of these outbreaks of union combativeness and teacher frustration will almost certainly not help the students and will likely make teachers worse off in the long run.
Nobody is talking about schools resuming completely to normal this fall, but the economic problems caused by the pandemic would not be solved even if they did. In an analysis that we authored and that was discussed last weekend by education ministers of the G-20, we ind the cohort of K-12 students hit by the spring closures has been seriously harmed and already faces a loss of lifetime income of 3 percent or more. The nation also faces a bleaker future.
The War on Poverty Remains a Stalemate Education gaps between socioeconomic classes haven’t narrowed in the past half-century. By ERIC A. HANUSHEK and PAUL E. PETERSON The War on Poverty drags on. President Trump’s budget proposes heavy cuts in domestic spending, but not to compensatory-education programs, which aim to lift the achievement levels of disadvantaged students. Since 1980 the federal government has spent almost $500 billion (in 2017 dollars) on compensatory education and another $250 billion on Head Start programs for low-income preschoolers.