Pandemic Fallout Will Cost Students Almost $1 Trillion In Earnings: Study

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27:  (L-R) Co-teachers at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 Marisa Wiezel (who is related to the photographer) and Caitlin Kenny give a lesson to their masked students in their classroom on September 27, 2021 in New York City. New York City schools fully reopened earlier this month with all in-person classrooms and mandatory masks on students. The city's mandate ordering all New York City school staff to be vaccinated by midnight today was delayed again after a federal appeals court issued a temporary injunction three days before the mayor's deadline. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Two Ivy League professors projected that American students will lose nearly $1 trillion in cumulative lifetime income because of the nation’s dramatic learning decline.
  • That projection is based on National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) data showing that every state saw a decline in its math scores, while September data demonstrated that reading scores regressed to 1991 levels after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • “We interpret this evidence as saying that NAEP means something,” Douglas O. Staiger, an economics professor at Dartmouth, told The 74, a nonprofit news organization focused on education. “When there are improvements in scores, those kids coming out of school are going to have better outcomes later in life. And we can infer from this recent decline that all the cohorts in school now are going to do a bit worse than we expected.”

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