Math challenges

Joanne Jacobs:

Math scores are way down: The Education Recovery Scorecard estimates students lost half a year. But Boaler believes it doesn’t matter. It’s “quite clear” the students gained “knowledge and insights about the world, health challenges, global upheaval, exponential growth, technology, and ways to help their families and navigate complex social situations,” she writes.

This is not clear to me at all. If anything, it’s quite clear that many lost the ability to navigate complex — or even simple — social situations, and I’m dubious about their knowledge and insights too. Screen time soared. That doesn’t mean they’re masters of technology. Physical and mental health declined.

Learning math matters, responds Fordham’s Nathaniel Grossman. Two decades of growth was “wiped out in just three years,” NAEP scores revealed. If we don’t do something about learning loss, this generation could be locked out of high-paying STEM careers, he writes. “One Stanford economist estimates that it’ll reduce the lifetime earnings of students by $70,000 and cause a $28 trillion hit to the American economy.”