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Impacts of learning loss, trauma will last for years, GAO finds

More than 60% of teachers said their students ended the 2020-21 school year behind where they would be ordinarily — with impacts especially pronounced for younger students, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

The report was based on a survey of 2,862 K-12 teachers nationwide, and examined the impact of pandemic-related learning loss and trauma on students as well as teachers. While some students excelled during distance learning, the report found, many suffered academic and emotional setbacks that will take years to overcome.

More mental health services for students as well as teachers, smaller class sizes, dedicated staff for communicating with families and better accountability for attendance are among the report’s recommendations, based on a survey of teachers and parents.

The report was part of a series by the GAO examining the impact of Covid, as required by the federal CARES Act.


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