COVID-19 learning loss could cost pandemic students $70K in lifetime earnings: study
Children’s learning loss during the pandemic could reduce their lifetime earnings by $70,000, according to a Stanford University economist’s study reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Eric Hanushek, who studies the economics of education, suggested the total losses could amount to $28 trillion over the course of this century, according to the Journal.
“The economic costs of the learning losses will swamp business cycle losses,” Hanushek told the newspaper.
The forecast is based on recent declines in eighth graders’ math scores.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as the nation’s report card, found that students’ math scores nationwide dropped by the largest amount ever this past year. No state or large urban district’s math scores improved during the pandemic.
Hanushek suggested to the Journal that students on average will become less educated, lower-skilled and less productive adults, earning 5.6 percent less money unless the pandemic-era learning losses are recovered.
He added that the recent drop translates to between 0.6 and 0.8 years of missed school.
Hanushek’s analysis is the latest insight into the potential ramifications of learning loss from schools shifting virtual when the pandemic shut down normal life.
A Harvard University study published in October found that the recent decline in math scores would represent a 1.6 percent decline in present value of students’ lifetime earnings, equivalent to about $19,400 per student.
The Biden administration has launched a series of actions to push back against the learning loss, including partnerships between national education and youth development organizations as well as the use of $122 billion in funds from the American Rescue Plan to bolster tutoring, summer learning and after-school programs.
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