COVID-19 school closings have harmful learning and earnings effects on the welfare of students and the nation. But effective educational approaches are available to help young people overcome these negative effects.

What follows explains two ways to understand COVID-19 learning and earnings losses, with seven effective learning opportunities useful to young people for overcoming these losses — an approach I call student-focused opportunity pluralism.

A McKinsey and Co. analysis that focuses on the nation’s current total U.S. K-12 student cohort offers three estimates for learning and earning losses stemming from school shutdowns between March 2020 and the end of the 2020-21 academic year. The middle estimate assumes an average student learning loss of seven months, though it would likely be greater for young people from disadvantaged households.

It projects an increase in the high school dropout rate of about 232,000 students in grades 9 to 11, particularly among low-income and minority students. Its projected overall learning loss leads to an estimated annual earnings deficit of $110 billion across today’s K-12 student cohort.

These awful projected learning and earnings results for young people and the nation are not inevitable. Parents, educators and others can work together to reimagine education and improve schools, creating student- and family-focused opportunity pluralism. This approach identifies multiple, practical remedies from both inside and outside the current system.

Here are seven remedies.

  1. Offer support programs
  2. Individualize instruction
  3. Employ diagnostic testing
  4. Use teachers differently
  5. Recruit new teachers
  6. Expand charter schools
  7. Create catchup programs

Read the full article about remedies for COVID-19 projected learning losses by Bruno Manno at The 74.