Wisconsin schools that went remote for longer saw expanded gaps in graduation rates

Baby Vinick:

Wisconsin schools that had a longer period of virtual or hybrid learning during the pandemic saw graduation rates rise among wealthier students and fall among those at an economic disadvantage, a new study found.

The study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published in the journal Educational Researcher, analyzed data from 429 public high schools in the state during the 2020-21 school year and two years before then.

It found that between September 2020 to May 2021, a full school year, virtual or hybrid learning increased the socioeconomic gaps in high school graduation rates by nearly 5 percent. Students are considered economically disadvantaged if they are from a household eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program. 

Ran Liu, a UW-Madison education professor and author of the study, called the finding that affluent students’ graduation rates increased surprising. But she said disparities in access to resources is likely part of the explanation. And it’s possible that future events – not just a pandemic – could cause new disruptions.  

“We need to understand that in-person schooling may have merits that cannot be replaced by virtual and hybrid learning mode,” Liu said.

Dane County Madison Public Health mandate summary.

“Dance studio complaint

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

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