Even if in-person instruction resumes in January, the average student will still have lost seven months of learning

Many of Minnesota’s students are now logging in at home for school, with little chance of them returning to in-person instruction until at least January 2021, reports the Star Tribune. And for many other students, distance learning is all they have been receiving since their schools closed this past spring.

But even if schools do resume in-person instruction in January (which may or may not actually happen), the average U.S. student will still have lost seven months of learning, according to analysts at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, and reported by The Economist. Black students will have lost even more—10 months. And low-income students more than an entire year.

Source: McKinsey & Company, as published in The Economist

“The sooner parents are able to return to work and children to in-person schooling, the less unequal the fallout,” writes Idrees Kahloon in The Economist.

New York City will reopen its elementary schools starting December 7. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement was even supported by the state’s teachers’ union. But the evidence hasn’t changed to cause this switch in learning models. The same data were available when Mayor de Blasio first closed schools. In fact, evidence continues to mount that schools are not the super-spreaders they were once feared to be and can be reopened safely.