Writing on a day like this is no easy task. As COVID-19 continues to circulate among us, it’s social distancing be damned as countless thousands across the country have taken to the streets in protests that have turned ugly with rioting, looting, and destroying.

Oh, our dear children hearing of such things and then strapping themselves in for more days of distance learning in homes that have been turned inside out—and, in many cases, look it…

Recently, Education Week’s Holly Kurtz, et al shared the results of an EdWeek Research Center’s national survey regarding COVID-19’s effects on schools. Among the findings:

  1. Student and teacher morale are down.
  2. Teachers say they’re spending more time on instruction and communication, but equity problems persist.
  3. Email is the most common form of teacher-student interaction.
  4. More than 20% of students are not participating in online instruction, with larger truancy rates in  high-poverty communities.
  5. District leaders continue to tackle equity issues.
  6. Educators are most concerned that students will fall behind in math.
  7. The arts are tough to teach remotely.
  8. More students may face consequences for schoolwork not done during closures.
  9. The jury is still out on the ground rules for reopening schools in the fall.

Meanwhile, a recent Northwest Evaluation Association’s analysis of 5 million students’ achievement and growth data showed that…

  • During the typical “summer slide,” kids can lose up to two weeks to two months of academic growth.
  • With the anticipated “COVID slide,” kids may only retain about 70% of the reading progress they’d have made with in-class instruction.
  • Without in-class instruction—and there will be none until September if then—math losses could range from 50% to ALL the academic growth from last year.

Moreover, these figures don’t necessarily reflect the impact of distance learning on our most vulnerable students, unequal access to digital devices and/or parental support, or the trauma some kids are experiencing.

Time to worry? You bet.