Officials: Recovering From Pandemic-Related Learning Loss Could Take Years

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the loss of months of learning for Texas students, and state officials are saying recovery could take time.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) says the typical summer slide is 2.5 months. Add the loss from the pandemic, and the combined instructional loss is 5.7 months for the 2019-2020 school year.

CBS Austin reported Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told the Senate Committee on Education last week that the impact could be worse this school year.

“I want the committee to think about the nature of our recovery from COVID not as a one or two-year project. This is going to be a four or a five-year project for us as a state,” Morath said, as reported by the station.

Morath also mentioned a study of learning loss in students impacted by Hurricane Katrina and then, like now, the learning loss is especially seen in math.

“After 4 years of targeted interventions those kids were able to catch up in reading to state averages. They were never able to catch up in math,” said Morath.

The station reported 44% of students in the state are still learning remotely. 

To help mitigate the learning loss, officials say the TEA will focus on more rigorous instructional materials, more time for the students that need it most, including in the summer, and more.

In other news:

  • Dallas County Monday reported 484 more COVID-19 cases — 357 confirmed cases and 127 probable — and 10 additional deaths. An outbreak of 41 cases of COVID-19 has been reported among high school students who attended a dance and dinner on March 13.  An additional nine COVID-19 cases among students and coaches have been reported associated with outbreaks in two high school basketball teams. 
  • DoorDash Monday announced partnerships with Vault Health and Everlywell, enabling customers to access two COVID-19 home collection kits that received FDA Emergency Use Authorization on-demand.  The Vault Health powered COVID-19 saliva test kit or the Everlywell COVID-19 test home collection kit DTC will be available in 12 DashMart locations across the U.S. including Dallas. Vault Health’s test kit sells for $119 and Everlywell’s test kit sells for $109; both may be eligible for reimbursement with healthcare insurance. 
  • U.S. health officials are raising questions about AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) expressing concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial,  which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data. The statement comes after the company announced plans to apply for emergency use authorization for its vaccine, which it says is 79% effective against symptomatic disease and 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalization.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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