State Data Confirm COVID Shutdowns Had ‘Dramatic Impact’ on Children’s Reading Skills
"This latest state data illustrates just how far behind Ohio's children have been set back by Mike DeWine's school shutdowns."
According to the Columbus Dispatch, new state data confirms that the COVID lockdowns had a "dramatic impact" on young children's reading skills, with third-grade reading proficiency decreasing statewide from 67% in the 2018-19 school year to 51.9% in 2020-21.
“When you are teaching kids sounds it’s much more difficult to teach them virtually," one educator said. "They need to see your mouth. They need to hear it without muffled sounds through technology.” Tragically, these learning setbacks have the potential to severely disadvantage these children for the rest of their lives, with the Dispatch noting, "Students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers...The number rises when those kids also come from poverty."
This kind of learning loss among Ohio's children was not inevitable, yet Governor DeWine played an instrumental role when he became the first governor in the entire country to shut down the state's schools, ignoring the science while opening the floodgates for other governors to follow suit:
"DeWine’s order, which at the time was universally declared to be the most drastic action in response to the virus in the United States, gave cover to Democrats to pretend closing schools was a laudable policy decision. Republicans also followed him, seeing DeWine’s decision as making school closures the norm."
Jim Renacci issued the following statement:
"This latest state data illustrates just how far behind Ohio's children have been set back by Mike DeWine's school shutdowns. Our children should never have been forced out of the classroom and should never have been forced to wear masks for hours on end when they returned. DeWine could have stood up to the Left's push for lockdowns and mandates. Instead he joined them. As governor, we will never cave to the mandate mob and we will fight to keep our schools open!"