America in transition: Pandemic’s impact on education |

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education secretary betsy devos resigned her cabinet post this week in response to the riot at the capitol calling the president’s actions an inflection point for her her tenure has been marked by controversy and criticism including her response to keeping schools open during the pandemic and as millions of students nationwide have headed back to school after the holidays new research shows the pandemic is having a big impact on learning many students not able to keep pace and parents wondering if there’s a plan to help their children catch up our devin dwyer takes a look in our series america in transition for 12-year-old chloe west the first five months of middle school have been a joyless experience in the confines of her family apartment did you understand what you were doing in math today her mother april a social worker in northern virginia says months of remote learning have taken a toll i don’t think that it’s the teachers or that they’re not teaching i think that it’s the technical piece and sometimes you have the students on and there’s no teacher because they’re that their technology piece is no longer working nearly a year after the pandemic began technical glitches have become more than a nuisance we’ll try and at least discuss what happened she left the meeting it kicked her out the internet disrupting learning making science experiments in math class especially hard playing french horn in the band even harder can you see all of your classmates have their instruments out and the and there’s somebody conduct your plane skate what is it what are you doing we can’t see each other but when we turn the microphone on he has us play together it doesn’t sound that good because some people’s microphone doesn’t work so what’s your biggest concern right now my biggest concern is that it’s going to get worse instead of better only because i know that there’s a lot of things that she’s missed experts call it learning loss and say early data show millions of students are falling victim to it and we found that the learning loss experience was quite pervasive that almost all students were negatively impacted by the pandemic and the pivot to remote learning 66 percent of teachers in one national survey said their students are less prepared for grade level work compared to last year in high poverty schools one in three teachers say their students are significantly behind if these kids are losing this much learning in just a brief period of time you have to plan that the recovery time here is going to be years teachers have been working overtime from home we’re going to read a story today developing creative teaching techniques and new lesson plans for the digital space that took some training that took some trial and error it was quite a challenge but i have a never say die mentality but a lack of support and resources many districts say is causing burnout among teachers and students nothing can replace in-person learning our educators our parents our students want nothing more than to be back together not only to learn together for their academics but also for their social emotional learning as well president trump and education secretary betsy devos have been pushing schools to reopen for in-person classes since last fall the science says it is safe for kids to be in school the reality is that parents and their kids are being held hostage but with the virus surging many parents and teachers are worried about safety from illinois to arizona protests against a return to the classroom families in the meantime making costly sacrifices to fill the gap i supplement with the tutor that she sees every tuesday and thursday also virtual but again it is one on one and how much is that costing you a month four hundred dollars in d.c the martin family facing expensive internet service upgrades to support three student streamers alex home from college after a campus covett outbreak lilly finishing her high school senior year and 9th grader ben who’s fighting to get his grades up after a pandemic slide i feel like the online was like only targeted towards one type of student that can like sit there and just listen to someone talk for hours at a time but like for me i’m not that type of student are you ready to read massive amounts of books and all the other college assignments i’m worried that when i’m back into a classroom i’m just going to be like overwhelmed because i haven’t been in one in so long the long-term impact could be staggering the average american student has already lost an estimated half a year of learning in reading and over a full year of learning in math since the pandemic began education advocates say intensive tutoring programs and weeks of summer school may be needed to catch them up so it’s not only talking about summer school we’ve gotta we’ve gotta approach this from a holistic way which students need the most additional supports the one-on-one the tutoring that’s that are that’s going to be required president-elect joe biden is promising to reopen the majority of schools in his first hundred days naming connecticut schools chief miguel cardona to lead the effort at the department of education for so many of our schools and far too many of our students this unprecedented year has piled on crisis after crisis it’s taken some of our most painful long-standing disparities and wrenched them open even wider biden wants a new covid testing system at schools nationwide and more funding for better school ventilation ppe for teachers and hiring more staff to reduce crowded classrooms he’s also expected to extend relief for student loan payments and push for some college student debt to be forgiven my debt is 80 000.


This relief for me personally would help me to take care of my parents you know they’re getting older my dad has come across a lot of health complications he had covered just last month he’s still in the hospital right now the price tag for biden’s plan is in the billions of dollars setting the stage for another fight in congress over who should foot the bill for me it’s more frustrating looking at other countries and seeing where they are compared to us and they seem to be a little bit more back to normal than we are seventh grader chloe west says she’s frustrated too her mom cautiously optimistic that a new vaccine and new president could turn the pandemic school year around i know she wants to go back to school but i as a parent am afraid for you know her health so if if by i would say the start of the fourth quarter if they are able to at least get to school by then then i’m all for it but until things you know get better i’m not for it for abc news live i’m devin dwyer in washington a concern for so many parents devin our thanks to you hi everyone george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news youtube channel if you’d like to get more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to download the abc news app for breaking news alerts thanks for watching


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