America in transition: Pandemic’s impact on education

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports on the phenomenon of “learning loss” as children fall behind on educational achievement due to remote learning.
6:57 | 01/09/21

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Transcript for America in transition: Pandemic’s impact on education
Education secretary Betsy the most resigned her cabinet posts this week in response to the ride at the capitol calling the president's actions and inflection point for her. Her ten year has been marked by controversy and criticism including her response to keeping schools open during a pandemic. This millions of students nationwide have headed back to school after the holidays new research shows a pandemic is having a big impact on learning. Many students not able to keep pace and parents wondering if there's a plan to help their children catch up. Or Devin Dwyer takes a look in our series America in transition. For twelve year old Chloe west the first five months of middle school have been a joint list experience in the confines of her family apartment. You understand what you were doing an accident. A mother April social worker in Northern Virginia says months of remote learning have taken its whole. I don't think that it's the teachers at that they're not teaching I think that if the technical he's at sometimes you have the students on and there's some teacher because bears that their technology uses a lot of work. Nearly as year after the pandemic began technical glitches to become more than a nuisance. Defiantly sky. Earl crop and CE. Ticker. Disrupting learning making science experiments in math class especially hard between French warning the band even harder room. Who can you see all of your classmates have their instruments out and that in this somebody conduct your plane skit what does it what are you doing. With Nancy says when he tendered my he has a spray it. It has Faneca has some people's microphone doesn't lands. So what's your biggest concern right now live they have with and that is going to get worse instead of better. Only because. I noted there's a lot of things that she's miss experts call it learning loss NC early data show millions of students are falling victim to it. We found that the learning loss experience was quite pervasive that almost all students were negatively impacted. By the pandemic and a hit it too little morning. 66%. Of teachers in one national survey said their students are less prepared for grade level work compared to last year. In high poverty schools one in three teacher cedar students are significantly behind. These kids are losing this month's flooring and just a brief period and you have to the recovery. Here is going to be years. Teachers and then working overtime from home. Today. Developing creative teaching techniques and new lesson plans for the digital space that soaked some training that took some trial and air was quite a challenge but. Out I have never thank god and that mentality. But a lack of support and resource as many districts say is causing burn out among teachers and students nothing can replace in person learning our educators. Parents of students. Want nothing more than to be back together not only to learn to do gather. For their academics. But also for the social emotional learning as well. President trump and education secretary Betsy device had been pushing schools to reopen for in person classes since last fall. The science says it is safe for kids to be in school the reality is that parents and their kids are being held hostage. A with the virus surging many parents and teachers are worried about safety. From Illinois to Arizona. Protests against a return to the classroom families in the meantime making costly sacrifices to fill the gap supplement with a tutor that he. Seen every Tuesday and Thursday also virtual world but again it is one on one and how much does that cost and you month. 400 us. In DC the Morton family facing extensive Internet service upgrades to support three students streamers. Alex home from college after a campus Covert outbreak. Newly finishing her high school senior year and ninth grader Ben who's fighting to get his grades up after a pandemic slide. I think I down liners like only targeted towards wanted to student that can light. Sit there and just listen as someone talk for hours at times like from manhunt that to understand you're ready to read massive amounts of books and the other college assignment I'm worried that when I'm back into a classroom I'm just going to be like over around. I have been one and fell on the long term. Impact could be staggering the average American student has already lost an estimated half a year of learning in reading. In over a full year of learning in math since the pandemic began. Education advocates say intensive tutoring programs and weeks of summer school may be needed to catch the mop. So it's not only talking about summer school we've got it would got to approach system holistic way in which students need the most. Additional supports the one on one the tutoring. That that has that's go to be required president elect Joseph Biden is promising to reopen the majority of schools in his first hundred days. Amy Connecticut schools chief Miguel Cardona to lead the effort at the Department of Education. For so many of our schools and far too many of our students this unprecedented year has piled on crisis after crisis. It's taken some of our most painful long standing disparities and wrenched them open. Even wider. Biden wants a new cold did testing system at schools nationwide. And more funding for better school ventilation PPE for teachers and hiring more staff to reduce crowded classrooms. He's also expected to extend relief for student loan payments and push for some college student debt to be forgiven. I get is eat out. This relief or meet personally would. How did they care my parents. Hum you know they're getting older my dad has come across a lot of complications he can't old rich just last month he still in the hospital right now. The price tag for Biden's plan is in the billions of dollars setting the stage for another fight in congress over who should foot the bill. For me it's more frustrating looking at other countries and see where there compared to us and. There they seem to be a little bit more back to normal that we are. Seventh grader Chloe west says she's frustrated to her mom cautiously optimistic that a new vaccine and new president. Could turn the pandemic school year around. I know she wants to go back to school but I answer pan am afraid for you know her her health. Soul if if by I would say the start of the fourth quarter if they are able to at least get to school by day and then I'm all for it. But unsealed things you know get better. On the sport grew. Ruth Marie BC news lineman Devin Dwyer in Washington. What. We are.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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