It’s a tiny number of public school teachers in the United States who, before immunizations were available, were at serious risk of dying from COVID-19. That percentage was determined to be 8%.
According to recently disclosed federal data, Eight percent is the percentage of African-American students who scored in the top two percent in mathematics on the NAEP.
Even though conventional public schools have been failing pupils of color for far too long, these disturbing figures show a marked decline in performance since the beginning of the epidemic.
At the urging of powerful union leaders, politicians in America’s bluest metropolitan neighborhoods — where most economically disadvantaged kids live — shuttered schools for an entire school year to “protect” less than one in ten of their employees.
The most recent NAEP results show that the widespread decline in students’ learning ability persists. Public school children, on average, have regressed ten points in mathematics and six points in reading since the beginning of the epidemic. The conclusion here is supported by research recently published in one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious economics journals: extracurricular activities harm academic performance.
These alarming findings emerge long after legislators have lavished the public education system with hundreds of billions of dollars more in government financing.
Adding extra money to the situation didn’t make a difference.
The Catholic schools in America were an outlier to these gloomy statistics. On the most recent NAEP, religious school students showed no significant drop in performance.
Catholic schools remained open for their kids even though more than twice as many private school teachers (17%) were in the COVID-vulnerable 60-or-older age bracket.
Most urban Catholic schools that succeeded in preventing academic decline had fewer resources and a greater concentration of kids from low-income backgrounds than their public school counterparts in both impoverished neighborhoods and affluent Democratic strongholds.
Unsurprisingly, the number of students enrolled in Catholic schools rose by 3.9% in the 2021-2020 school year. Almost a million kids left public schools because of the epidemic.
The most privileged households are starting to leave. It’s time for additional states to pass laws making Catholic and other private schools available to all families. The consequent competition, it is hoped, would motivate public schools to improve.