The Consequences of Remote and Hybrid Instruction During the Pandemic
Using testing data from 2.1 million students in 10,000 schools in 49 states (plus D.C.), we investigate the role of remote and hybrid instruction in widening gaps in achievement by race and school poverty. We find that remote instruction was a primary driver of widening achievement gaps. Math gaps did not widen in areas that remained in-person (although there was some widening in reading gaps in those areas). We estimate that high-poverty districts that went remote in 2020-21 will need to spend nearly all of their federal aid on academic recovery to help students recover from pandemic-related achievement losses.
The research was supported by grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Walton Family Foundation and Kenneth C. Griffin. This report was a collaborative effort between the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, NWEA, and CALDER at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.