A deluge of data released late last year confirmed what has long been suspected: The coronavirus pandemic caused widespread learning loss while also amplifying gaps across racial and socioeconomic lines.  The situation is especially concerning among younger children: one analysis of reading level data by Amplify Education, Inc., which creates curriculum, assessment and intervention products, found children in first and second grade experienced the most dramatic drops in grade level reading scores compared to previous years. This year, 40 percent of first grade students and 35 percent of second grade students are “significantly at risk” of needing intensive intervention compared to 27 percent and 29 percent last year.

Here are some of the ways experts and educators are proposing to do just that, many of which were highlighted in a recent report by McKinsey & Company:

  1. Tutoring: Research shows “high dosage” tutoring can help boost reading skills,  especially in the early years of elementary schools.
  2. Extended school year: States like North Dakota are considering extending the length of the school year to help catch students up to where they should be academically.
  3. Grade-level reading exposure: The report by McKinsey & Company highlighted data that show keeping learning materials at grade-level and helping students work up to that level is more effective than pulling students out of grade-level work and reteaching content from earlier grades.
  4. Partnerships with community organizations: Whitney with Reading Partners said communities should to support teachers through partnerships with literacy programs like the Minnesota Reading Corps or Jumpstart.
  5. Work on literacy at home: Outside of school, parents can boost literacy by reading books with children and pointing out letters and words in everyday life, like at the grocery store.

Read the full article about addressing COVID-19 learning loss by Jackie Mader at The Hechinger Report.