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Who's Hit Hardest By The 'Learning Lag' From Pandemic Online Education

LAUSD Zoom in a Room Student Middle School
After a year of learning online, many students will have lost valuable educational opportunity.
(Kyle Stokes
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As most students in California return to the classroom, many educators and parents are concerned that a year or more of Zoom school means students may be lagging behind where they would have been if there had been no pandemic.

Libby Pier on KPCC's AirTalk talking about online education's "learning loss"

Learning loss is most pronounced in students who were struggling pre-pandemic, said Libby Pier of Education Analytics during an interview on KPCC's AirTalk. She said it's hard to pinpoint any one reason.

"It's hard to know whether it is reliable internet access or a quiet place to study or reliable internet connection, whether it's the ability of teachers to pivot almost impossibly fast, whether it's the fact that there's a global pandemic happening and there's a lot of trauma and stress associated with that."

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Those disproportionately experiencing learning lag include Black and Latino students, English language learners and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Pier says there isn't a one-size-fits-all cure for learning loss, but it's important that students' basic needs are met. This includes access to food, safety and strong social relationships with peers and teachers.

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