Long Lasting Effects of Remote Learning

Remote learning still has lingering effects.


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Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Along with affecting our physical and mental health, Covid seems to have undone all of the last few years’ progress when it comes to test scores of all ages ranging from elementary to college.  

Elementary reading scores have dropped drastically from 2020 to 2022.  This is the largest decline in reading scores we’ve seen since 1990 according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.  The Mathematics scores have also dropped marking the first-ever score decline in this subject.

“Students weren’t able to learn to the best of their ability when they weren’t physically in a classroom,” says Mrs.Dunaway.

Math scores have been on an upward trend since the early 70s, having only one slight downhill fall in 1990.  Both reading and math scores have been averaging higher every year from the late 90s to the 2000s until Covid and remote learning happened.

Lower-performing students that already had issues in certain subjects dropped their scores even more than the other average students when remote learning became their only option. Many high school students feel very unprepared for college due to remote learning where they were given an A just for showing up, and not getting as much out of the class as they should have to cause learning gaps.

“Being online made me a bit lazy and I slacked off a bit when I probably should have been paying attention,” says junior Mara Lewis. “Teachers made the courses so everyone could pass.”

More evidence of post-COVID test scores dropping is the ACT college admissions test.  the ACT college admissions test had the lowest scores in over thirty years.  The average test score for 2022 was 19.8 out of 36.  This is the first time since 1991 that they’ve seen an average score under 20.  Along with that, an increasing number of high school students failed to meet any of the subject-area benchmarks set by the ACT.  This shows that the level of preparedness for college-level coursework has greatly declined.

“Every year, I am always looking for ways to add exam prep into my units for the betterment of my students, especially those who are college-bound,” said Mr. Curcio. “But at the end of the day, one prep activity isn’t going to fully prepare you adequately. You have to continue to prep outside of school as well.”

Since Covid, every year more students are unable to meet the subject benchmarks in English, reading, math, and science.  In 2021, 38% of students failed to meet the benchmarks, while in 2022 42% of students met none of the benchmarks.

The percentage of students taking admission tests has also dropped since Covid.  More and more students are deciding to forgo college due to their inability to meet the standards for college after covid.

The way things are going now, most students feel very unprepared for their future.  Moving forward, things need to get back to where we were, and not just get made easier for students.

“It was really hard going from being online and having no motivation to having the complete motivation to wake up and actually come into school and learn,” says Jaydn Hart.

“The change was really hard.”