THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic exposed long-standing inequities baked into the country’s public education system, and now, a year after schools shuttered for more than 50 million children, parents finally have their first glimpse at the depths of the racial disparities that stand to haunt the U.S. for years to come.
As of January, more than half of all Black, Hispanic and Asian fourth-graders were learning in a fully remote environment. By comparison, a quarter of white students were learning fully remotely, and instead nearly half of white students were learning in-person, full-time.
The findings are among the most striking included in the federal government’s first assessment of school reopenings, which drew data from a nationally representative sample of 7,000 rural, suburban and urban schools to assess how fourth-grade and eighth-grade students are receiving education. The data were broken down by race, economic status, disability and English learner status.