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Shutting Down Schools Over COVID is Already Having Severe Consequences for Students

Shutting Down Schools Over COVID is Already Having Severe Consequences for Students

“I’ll just sit there, kind of lost.”

We are just beginning to see the effect of this. I fully expect things to get worse.

From the Hechinger Report:

After the pandemic disrupted their high school educations, students are arriving at college unprepared

Andrea Hernandez studied the multiplication table nearly every day during the summer between her third and fourth grade years. Sitting at her family’s kitchen table in Dallas while her mother prepared dinner, she printed the arithmetic over and over in a yellow, spiral-bound notebook. When she started at a new school in the fall of 2012, she breezed through the timed math tests. From then until the coronavirus hit, when she was a 16-year-old precalculus student, Hernandez shined in the classroom.

Then, like millions of other students across the country, Hernandez was forced to shift to learning online. For the rest of her junior year and most of her senior year, she learned from a laptop in her family’s living room, with her younger sibling taking Zoom classes down the hall in their shared bedroom.

She felt she lost her muscle for being a student. The standards for online learning during her junior year weren’t just lower than they had been in the classroom, she said, “the standards weren’t even there at all.”

By a slim margin, Hernandez, a math major, failed the math placement exam that would have landed her a seat in calculus in the fall as a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. She retook precalculus and earned an A. Now, she spends four days a week in an unusually small seminar-style calculus class with 31 other aspiring mathematicians and engineers.

“I want to say it’s going good so far but, you know, there’s just some things where I look at them and I’m just like, ‘where’s the math? I just see letters,’ I don’t understand anything,” Hernandez said. “I’ll just sit there, kind of lost.”

More than 20 of her classmates took the larger, lecture-style class last fall, and failed.


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Someone fires a gun into the air. The bullets arcs down perfectly predictably, then improbably (in mathematical terms) strikes and kills someone. If identified, that person is always punished for the consequence.

No one will be punished for this.

    Dimsdale in reply to henrybowman. | April 10, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Indeed. It will be written off as something lost to a greater “Faucian good.”

    I was at a parochial school during the pandemic, and we didn’t shut down at all. Too precautions, but no student was seriously ill. Only the principal caught it and was hospitalized.

    Another notch in the belt for Catholic education.

healthguyfsu | April 11, 2022 at 7:28 am

Generational attitude intersected with pandemic policy at a very inopportune time.

Students today think everything should be handed to them, but at the same time, they don’t want to do anything more than what is required of them. This student certainly had the option of continuing to study beyond the standards while online. Now, she blames the standards for being too lax. Take some responsibility for your own motivation and drive to learn and succeed. After that, do what it takes to catch up.

There’s a plethora of online resources that could help her TODAY. Many generations before had none of that, and they still sit there and waste it with facebook/instagram/tik tok time instead.

I’ve had students thank me in evaluations for pushing them to get things done with standards that are tough. I don’t take these as compliments…I take these as an honest yet sad indictment of the state of motivation for intellectual betterment.