Ongoing analysis of COVID-19 era data is uncovering important patterns to improve our understanding of pandemic effects on children and to inform post-pandemic schooling and education policy. New evidence characterizes (1) youth unemployment changes throughout the pandemic, (2) schooling modes over time, and (3) enrollment declines by student, family, and school characteristics.
A new report from Mathematica investigates youth unemployment during the COVID-19-induced economic downturn. In May 2021, unemployment hovered around 10% for both youth ages 16 to 19 and youth ages 20 to 24. Importantly, youth unemployment rates fell from nearly 20% to just under 11% for males and from 21% to 9% for females between June 2020 and May 2021. The Mathematica team maintains an interactive data tool on youth unemployment during the pandemic.
Burbio, the source for schooling modality data for many education research projects, now provides summary information on learning models by state and grade level and for urban and non-urban schools for the entire 2020–21 school year.
As school administrators look to the fall of the 2021–22 school year, those parsing the evidence are trying to makes sense of enrollment data from the past year. Analysis by Chalkbeat and the Associated Press reveals some important patterns. Kindergarten enrollment saw the biggest dip, which presents challenges for the upcoming school year. In addition, white families’ enrollment declined more than others perhaps due to greater reliance on virtual learning in the schools their students attend. Children from disadvantaged families also saw larger enrollment declines than their peers from higher-income families.