The data is in: America’s elementary school students have fallen behind during the pandemic. An annual study that calls itself the “nation’s report card” found that math and reading scores are down for 9-year-olds, compared with pre-pandemic levels. But according to Charles Fain Lehman, a policy fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, these historic declines are nothing to sweat.
Matthew Yglesias and Laura McGann agree: This is a bad take. They argue that when the right says kids will catch up and the left says tests don’t matter, kids lose. But Matt argues the ideological fault lines on education policy have shifted, saying it was surprising to see a conservative deny covid learning loss. Laura explains the political stakes, driving each side’s narrative on education.
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