The COVID Learning Slide: VA Must Continue to Make Our Children #1!

“For the past decade, Washington, D.C. schools have shone as a success story, with achievement for all students rising steadily in elementary and middle schools and more quickly than the national average.  But several years’ worth of that growth has been wiped out by the COVID learning slide, and racial disparities in achievement have widened dramatically, a new analysis by my non-profit research organization EmpowerK12, has found” writes Josh Boots, founder of EmpowerK12, a non-profit, data analysis organization that focuses on schools in Washington, D.C.

EmpowerK12’s recent study entitled, COVID-19’s Impact on Student Achievement and Academic Growth in D.C. is eye-opening.  Findings show that at-risk students and those from poor neighborhoods suffered the greatest learning loss during the pandemic, losing an average of 5 months of learning in Math and 4 months in English Language Arts.  Students also reported feeling anxiety about their families’ safety and financial well-being.  Boots’ article, “The Pandemic Dims a Beacon of School Improvement” published in February by FutureEd, highlights findings from the study which paint a picture of the pandemic’s effects on urban education.

D.C. isn’t alone in facing the COVID learning slide.  Virginia must address the widening achievement and readiness gaps caused by the health crisis. Our state’s children MUST be our first priority.   Join the fight to ensure equitable access to high-quality early learning for ALL children at

*FutureEd is an independent, solution-oriented, think-tank at Georgetown University’s McCord School of Public Policy.



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