Sofoklis Goulas

Economist

Sofoklis Goulas

Economist

Blog Post

Estimating the Recovery Time from Learning Losses during the COVID-19 Pandemic (16 State Volumes & Meta-analysis)

December 2022 Policy reports

As our understanding of the impact of COVID on student knowledge becomes clearer and widespread losses are documented, students, their communities, and the nation critically need remedies. This is particularly true for students who were struggling academically even before the pandemic. Our results demonstrate how widely the historical pace of learning differs across students. In a typical 180-day school year, some students’ learning gains amount to less than a full year of learning and others realize more than a year. These differences create much longer timelines for recovery from COVID than is currently discussed. Current proposals for remedial action have failed to consider these differences in choosing COVID recovery approaches.

Efforts to supplement the existing modes of learning with tutoring or mentoring will yield only the historical pace of learning for students because these infusions occur at the margin of an unchanged system. There are significant time and resource constraints that make it highly unlikely that students receive enough of these programs to erase their learning deficits from COVID. We conclude that the path to real mitigation lies in approaches that recognize the differences in students’ pace of learning and either exploit them for better outcomes for all or seek to change them for the students who need the extra learning.

Each of the considered approaches carries both promise and risk which could be expected to vary across schools and districts. State-level leaders need to provide guidance and political support as these approaches develop. They also must serve a critical function of implementation monitoring and performance measurement to provide all stakeholders the transparency needed to make clear-eyed decisions to meet the needs of students.


Co Authors : Margaret E. Raymond
Outlet : Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University
Featured in :

The74Million, Working Nation, Washington Times


Link : https://credo.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/meta_analysis_20230420_tr.pdf