Pandemic Kids Head to College, and, Shocker, It’s Not Going Well

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

In yet another example of the New York Times acting surprised at something anyone with a brain already predicted, students who endured the maniacal pandemic regime of remote “learning,” vax mandates, and school closures are heading off to college—and failing. They write:

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Students missed a lot of high school instruction. Now many are behind, especially in math, and getting that degree could be harder.

You don’t say?

That college students are struggling shouldn’t be a surprise—a recent report showed that among 4th and 8th graders, math scores dropped in nearly every state, and reading proficiency plunged as well. The study, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, showed that the computation results were particularly bad, suffering their biggest declines in the history of the report (it was rolled out in the early 90s). It’s no wonder they’re struggling with numbers at the college level.

Ever tried to learn physics on Zoom? Good luck.

Many students aren’t even applying to college. Undergrad enrollment declined dramatically due to the pandemic, and as of this spring, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported that college student bodies were 9.7 percent smaller—or minus 1.4 million students—than before the virus.

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For many of us who have been vocal critics of school closures and other measures, these results come as no surprise. California schools were shuttered for over a year and a half, and as a parent, I saw up close the devastation that it wrought on our youth.

It was easy for Governor Gavin Newsom to act as if it wasn’t that big a deal—because he sent his kids to a private school that remained mostly open. Must be nice. How was the food at the French Laundry, anyway?

Dr. Paulo Lima-Filho, the executive director of Texas A&M’s math learning center, lamented:

Students of all kinds seemed to lack sharp foundational math skills and rigorous study habits, he said. And some students had flawed understandings of basic concepts, which particularly worried him.


The effects of the COVID policies on kids will continue to be felt for years. Many of us who have yelled loudly and often about the war on children are proved to be right about what we were saying, but there’s not much vindication in that because we can never get back those two years. Graduations were missed, milestones were ignored, and developmental progress was virtually stopped in its tracks.

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It’s infuriating to hear people like LA Teachers Union boss Cecily Myart-Cruz who said, “there’s no such thing as learning loss” when we can see with our own eyes that there was extensive damage. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten has been no friend to students either, vigorously lobbying to prevent schools from opening as long as possible.

What they did to America’s kids was wrong, and now new— and unprepared—college students are paying the price.

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