The Pandemic Did A Number On Schoolkids

As my partner Ryan Boyle detailed in his excellent video “Where Are the Workers,” the pandemic took quite a toll on the American labor market. Diminished public health and limited immigration reduced labor supply. And the disruption to caregiving required parents and those looking after the elderly to divert time and attention from work.

Fortunately, one form of caregiving that rose in importance during the pandemic is no longer as burdensome. Schools have reopened, relieving parents from having to assist with distance learning. Unfortunately, learning from home hindered student achievement. The latest test results compiled by National Center for Education Statistics show that fourth graders in the United States regressed to their lowest reading and math proficiency in many years. Delayed mastery of these skills will hinder progress in higher-level subjects.

COVID-19 took a huge toll on educational attainment.