According to a new analysis, the COVID-19 epidemic contributed to a drop in high school graduation rates throughout the country.
An education news organization, Chalkbeat, reported Monday that after the first proper school year was interrupted by the epidemic, high school graduation rates fell in at least 20 states.
This is implying that coronavirus may have put a halt to almost two decades of national progress toward increasing student diplomas.
High school graduation rates dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by the coronavirus, a @Chalkbeat analysis found, suggesting the pandemic may have ended nearly two decades of progress toward getting students diplomas. https://t.co/MkUbjqTd0M
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 24, 2022
These results occurred, despite attempts in some states to relax requirements and provide additional assistance to failing kids.
A Boost in 2020
However, while comprehensive national statistics will not be released until next year, the group discovered 20 of the 26 states that provided graduation data indicated a decrease in the percentage of students who graduated from high school.
This, according to the news source, has halted or reversed a roughly two-decade-old upward trend in high school graduation rates.
Even in 2020, most states reported a boost in graduation rates, due to the pandemic’s eased criteria and the transition to e-learning in the latter portion of the school year.
The states with the highest drop in graduation rates were Illinois, North Dakota, and Oregon, seeing a two percent drop.
In addition, five states had a drop in graduation rates of more than one percentage point, while 12 states experienced mild drops of less than one percentage point. Even in places where growth occurred, it was much lower than in prior years.
As reported by Chalkbeat, Florida’s graduation rate had been increasing by around two percentage points each year for the previous decade. Florida also experienced a nearly four-point gain in 2018 and a three-point increase in 2020.
Still, the state’s growth rate collapsed back down to just 0.1 percent in 2021.
A Decrease in Enrollments
“We do have to be worried that graduation rates are down and some children who obtained diplomas learned less than in previous years,” said schooling analyst and Johns Hopkins School of Education professor Robert Balfanz.
“What we will have to understand in the future is the magnitude of the worry.”
Carly Lott, an advisor at Hug High School in Reno, Nevada, said to Chalkbeat they have a sizable number of students who failed a complete year of high school.
She said students were frequently required to work during school time or on nocturnal shifts, preventing them from concentrating on homework.
“If they were at home, they were not active — they were preoccupied,” she explained.
In Reno, counselor Carly Lott became concerned about the hours students were working outside the classroom early in the pandemic and its potential effect on graduation rates, which are dipping in many states for the first time in decades.https://t.co/iGrhhBKxyD
— Sam Metz (@metzsam) January 24, 2022
The alarming trend is only one of a growing list of issues affecting schools, due to the COVID epidemic.
According to the Daily Wire, many city school districts around the nation have reported decreased enrollment, due to COVID outbreaks or parents’ worries.
Students also fall back when they return to class, due to the transition away from virtual learning. Along with the issues children face in the classroom, schools around the country have been forced to close unexpectedly and transition to remote learning.