Emily Oster Summarizes COVID-Related School Closures and Student Achievement
School districts across the United States varied in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the shift to online instruction was nearly universal in April and May 2020, there was substantial heterogeneity in the mode of instruction during the 2020-21 academic year. A research team led by NBER Research Associate Emily Oster of Brown University has compiled detailed data on the prevalence of in-person schooling and linked this information to student achievement scores for school districts in a dozen states. In a new study (29497) with Clare Halloran of Brown University, Rebecca Jack of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and James Okun of MIT, Oster finds an overall decline in average test scores between 2020 and 2021. The researchers also find that school districts with less in-person instruction exhibit steeper declines. Oster summarizes the study's findings in the video above. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.