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A full year COVID-19 crisis with interrupted learning and two school closures: The effects on learning growth and inequality in primary education

Carla Haelermans, Madelon Jacobs, Lynn van Vugt, Bas Aarts, Henry Abbink, Chayenne Smeets, Rolf Van der Velden () and Sanne van Wetten
Additional contact information
Carla Haelermans: ROA / Education and transition to work, RS: GSBE Studio Europa Maastricht, RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work
Madelon Jacobs: ROA / Education and transition to work, RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research
Bas Aarts: RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Human capital in the region

No 9, ROA Research Memorandum from Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)

Abstract: After more than a year of COVID-19 crisis and the school closures that followed all around the world, the concerns about lower learning growth and exacerbated inequalities are larger than ever. In this paper, we use unique data to analyse how one full year of COVID-19 crisis in Dutch primary education has affected learning growth and pre-existing inequalities. We draw on a dataset that includes around 330,000 Dutch primary school students from about 1,600 schools, with standardized test scores for reading, spelling and mathematics, as well as rich (family) background information of the students. The results show a lower learning growth over a full year for all three domains, varying from 0.06 standard deviations for spelling to 0.12 for maths and 0.17 standard deviations for reading. Furthermore, we find that the lower learning growth is (much) larger for vulnerable students with a low socioeconomic background. This implies that pre-existing inequalities between students from different backgrounds have increased. These results are quite alarming and suggest that distance learning could not compensate for classroom teaching, although it prevented some damage that would have occurred if students had not enjoyed any formal education at all.

JEL-codes: C90 I20 I21 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-12-14
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/ws/files/76028733/ROA_RM_2021_9.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: A full year COVID-19 crisis with interrupted learning and two school closures: The effects on learning growth and inequality in primary education (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: A full year COVID-19 crisis with interrupted learning and two school closures: The effects on learning growth and inequality in primary education (2021) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unm:umaror:2021009

DOI: 10.26481/umaror.2021009

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