by Brittany Raymer
Former Digital Writer & Editor
It seems that the COVID related lockdowns of schools didn’t have just an immediate impact on student’s lives, but potentially on their future earnings as well. This means the economic fallout of school policies could have an impact for generations to come.
Ask any teacher what it was like trying to educate students online, especially young children, and they’ll let you know it was more of a failed endeavor than anything else. From parents showing up partially dressed in the background during a lesson to one child who gave the teachers and other students a sense of vertigo as they rolled around their bed with an iPad in hand (both true stories from my sister who taught online during lockdowns), the education process was severely disrupted.
But while the decline in test scores would be an obvious outcome, what’s a bit of a surprise is how things may begin to fall apart long-term.
A report from the National Assessment of Education Progress reveals that students could potentially lose between 2% and 9% of their potential lifetime earnings since as they missed critical educational markers.
“The pandemic has had devastating effects in many areas, but none are as potentially severe as those on education,” the analysis remarked. “There is overwhelming evidence that students in school during the closure period and during the subsequent adjustments to the pandemic are achieving at significantly lower levels than would have been expected without the pandemic.”
The National Assessment of Education Progress goes onto conclude that as the United States “rewards skills more than almost all other developed countries” and also “punishes those without skills more than other countries,” this could leave the nation in rather dire straits over the next several decades.
This will also impact the economic “disadvantaged” and those children with various disabilities the most, as they have fewer resources than other students to make up for that lost time.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School estimates that the economy will lose between $128 and $188 billion every year because of the lockdown disruptions to society.
As the COVID situation is seemingly deteriorating in China, with apparently 250 million diagnosed and an unsubstantiated number of deaths, serious questions could be raised about some protocols and restrictions coming back into play. Schools in some areas of the country are already reintroducing masks to the classrooms.
But if the world is gearing up for round two of COVID-related lockdowns, have any lessons been learned or will we extend the generational impact of policies that likely did little to curb the pandemic?