NYT Editorial Board Admits COVID School Closures Were Harmful

Nov 22, 2023

NEW YORK, NY – Even though editorials in The New York Times (NYT) previously called for school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the media company’s editorial board recently admitted there is “startling” evidence that those school closures caused “devastating” educational harm to 50 million children in America. 

In the opinion piece published last week titled, “The Startling Evidence on Learning Loss Is In,” the NYT’s Editorial Board cited scientific studies, national test results, and analysis of federal agency data revealing coronavirus school closures set back the nation’s math and reading levels among children to the lower proficiency levels of two decades ago. While the board noted that Congress has sent $190 billion in aid to schools, in which 20 percent of it was reserved for “reversing learning setbacks,” that aid is set to expire in 2024 and schools will need other federal, state, and local resources to reverse this learning loss. The board highlighted that the closures also “widened the achievement gap” between poor and wealthy children where economists predict the gap will put a drag on the economy.

In its editorial, the NYT emphasized several other key findings: 

  1. Economists predict the educational gap will lead to “diminished lifetime earnings” for today’s generation and hurt the economy.
  2. There is now an “epidemic of absenteeism” where millions of children are chronically absent (missing 10 percent or more of school days) contributing to gaps in learning.
  3. Reversing learning loss will require increasing the pace at which students learn.
  4. Closing learning gaps will require a greater number of highly trained and dedicated teachers at a scale typically difficult to achieve. 

The NYT concluded these school closures “may prove to be the most damaging disruption in the history of American education.” 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “It was common sense at the beginning of the pandemic that lockdowns and closures would inflict devastating collateral damage on people, our institutions, and our nation. We warned of these effects in real time. Now we need to focus on educating children to meet high educational standards and never allow these closures again. Our children deserve better.” 

To address this educational crisis, Covenant Journey Academy is a full-service K-12 online Christian Academy available 24/7/365. With over 150 courses taught by certified teachers and more than 30 college courses for dual credit, Covenant Journey Academy is a great option for parents and students. Visit CJ.Academy

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