CDC Study: Remote Learning Hurt Kids’ Mental Health

When schools pivoted to remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first casualty was kids’ mental health.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed teenagers’ mental health from January 2021 to June 2021. Compared with 2019, the study found that the proportion of mental health–related emergency department visits in 2020 increased by about 31% among kids aged 12–17 years.

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Public School Pandemic Decline Leads to Rise in Parent-Formed Microschools

School closures and district struggles to provide adequate remote learning platforms for students have led parents, and some teachers, to think outside the box to create their own private “microschools” that provide individualized learning and flexibility.

In late summer of 2020, as many school districts wrestled with reopening amid government-imposed mandates and teacher union demands, Jason Bedrick, director of policy at EdChoice, and his colleague, fellow Matthew Ladner, prepared a report at Heritage.org that explained the concept of microschools.

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Universities That Received Billions in COVID Relief Are Still Imposing Delays, Remote Instruction

In 2020, the federal government gave American colleges and universities approximately $14 billion in relief through the CARES Act. As part of the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, the CARES Act allocation mandated that approximately half its funds be used for emergency student aid.

Now, nearly two years after President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act in March 2020, numerous institutions that received aid are delaying in-person learning due to the Omicron variant.

By Jan. 7, seven out of 10 University of California campuses announced “revisions to their winter quarter or winter semester plans.” Winter sessions precede the spring semester, which traditionally starts in mid-to-late January.

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As More Schools Start 2022 with Remote Learning, Advocates Say 2021 Was ‘Historic Year’ for School Choice

As school districts across the U.S. start 2022 in remote-learning settings or are considering doing so because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, parents now have more options as 22 states expanded or created school choice initiatives in 2021.

That’s a silver lining, advocates say, as parents grow more frustrated by ever-changing mandates, failed virtual learning outcomes and conflicting views with school boards over a range of issues.

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Clinton Says Critical Race Theory Was a ‘Stalking Horse’ for Anger About Remote Schooling

Hillary Clinton

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said critical race theory was a “stalking horse” used by Republicans in the Virginia gubernatorial race to capitalize on anger parents harbored toward remote schooling during the pandemic.

“One of the things that I think happened in Virginia, after having schools closed for so long, people were really focused on schools and education,” Clinton said in an interview on “Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist.

“I don’t think that the Democrats and Terry [McAuliffe] understood how disoriented parents, particularly moms, were about the experience that they had gone through,” she said.

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Remote Learning Lowered Test Scores in Every State Surveyed, Disproportionately Affected Minorities

Remote learning led to declines in test scores in English and math when compared to the scores of schools that had more in-person learning, according to a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic forced many schools to close in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, but many schools remained closed throughout the 2020-2021 school year. According to new research from the NBER, remote learning had a negative impact on students’ test scores in English language arts (ELA) and math in all 12 states studied. Declines in scores were smaller for students who continued in-person learning.

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Arizona Charter Schools Add Thousands of New Students Amid COVID-19 Closures

Arizona’s charter schools experienced a rush of new applications amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a compilation of state-by-state data on charter school enrollment compared with enrollment in the 2019-2020 school year. It found nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in charter schools nationally, a 7% increase from the prior year.

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