According to a new study by a Stanford economist, students who were in school during the pandemic could see a lifetime earnings loss of $70,000. Professor Eric Hanushek’s assertion is based on analysis of the sharp declines in the scores of eighth-graders on national math tests taken between 2019 and 2022.
Hanushek surmises that, if the learning losses aren’t somehow recovered, the majority of K-12 students will grow into less educated, lower-skilled and less productive adults-- and will therefore earn 5.6% less over the course of their lives than students educated prior to the pandemic. Hanushek believes the losses could total up to $28 trillion over the course of this century.
Scores on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational “Progress,” a.k.a. the Nation’s Report Card, were down across the board. Eighth grade math test scores fell an average of eight points from 2019, prior to the pandemic’s onset, to 2022. That is the largest and most precipitous drop ever recorded in the 32-year history of the exam…and is equivalent to missing most of a school year, according to Dr. Hanushek.
Students’ scores in several states were down 12 points, whereas those in Idaho, Alabama, Alaska, and Utah—somewhat “redder” states—experienced significantly smaller declines.
This government-imposed decimation of young people’s earnings potential was arbitrary, needless, and sinister. Rather than “forgiving” student loans, often for the well-to-do, the Biden administration should consider paying reparations to all those adversely affected by the government’s actions. Except that it would be doing so with taxpayers’ money. Unlike student loans, purportedly an effort to help young scholars, these damages were deliberately and directly caused by government. From deeming many jobs “unessential” to shuttering countless businesses to essentially forcing kids out of school and into “Zoom” classes and “remote” education, government’s actions and mandates damaged and diminished the lives—and earning ability—of millions of individuals.
If anything calls for reparations, it is this.
For much of our history, Americans were skeptical and distrustful of government. This was the reason for our founding…and why our founding fathers bequeathed us a limited government with each of the three branches restrained by “checks and balances.” Bizarrely, according to most surveys, today most Americans are still skeptical and distrustful of those in government, yet seem to want an ever bigger government to address every aspect of their lives.
This apparent anomaly is a sign of a broken educational system and an utterly corrupt corporate media. The damage they have done to us all is literally incalculable.
We should all be owed reparations from them.