Negotiamini Media
Truth is Powerful

How has the pandemic affected high school graduation and college entry?


Much of the attention on schools during the COVID-19 era has been on learning loss, measured by the drop in student test scores. Overwhelming evidence shows that this is happening —with each new study, we see further documentation that students learned considerably less than they would have without COVID-19. This is important, to be sure, but there are other key signals of skill, knowledge, and development. In particular, high school graduation and college entry are at least as strong as predictors of long-term life success as test scores. How has the pandemic impacted these outcomes?

To address this gap, we—along with Ann Bernhardt, Rylie Martin, Chris Marsicano, and Paul von Hippel—decided to study COVID-19’s effects on high school graduation and the transition from high school to college. We address four main questions: First, how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected high school graduation rates? Using data from 25 states, covering 57% of the nation’s school population, our results suggest that high school graduation rates actually increased slightly in the spring of 2020, followed by a return to the prior level in 2021. This pattern is not the result of reporting bias. Overall, it appears that, of all commonly measured educational outcomes, […]

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