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Summary
  • COVID-19 has triggered a forced experiment in remote learning at unprecedented scale. With an estimated 97% of K-12 students in the US affected by school closures, remote learning has acutely become the new norm.
  • The lower levels of participation and engagement seen in the transition to remote learning can’t be understated. Students are facing a learning loss of 30% of a full school year that will take up to 3 years to catch up from, with disadvantaged learners losing even more ground.
  • While painful, the acceleration in technology adoption will have some paybacks. Teachers, students, parents and vendors are learning faster what effective remote education looks like. The digital divide is narrowing with efforts to address the connectivity gap. K-12 education after the pandemic will be different – and possibly better.
  • Further ahead, we can expect to see a broad-based restructuring of K-12 education – a sector that has historically been slow to innovate – from virtual and hybrid schools to mastery-based assessments.
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