Dean Katharine Strunk highlights pandemic's impact on math education in “AP News”

September 8, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on schooling has created major challenges in math education, as evidenced by plummeting math scores on the NAEP test.

This setback lies in math education’s hands-on nature, which is difficult to replicate in virtual classrooms, according to researchers interviewed in a recent AP News story. As a result, the learning gaps caused by pandemic-related disruptions continue to affect students as they transition to college campuses. These gaps in basic math knowledge have repercussions on students’ ability to grasp more advanced math subjects such as algebra and calculus.

Penn GSE Dean Katharine Strunk voiced her concerns about the lasting consequences of ineffective pandemic math education on vulnerable students, including Black, Latino, and low-income students.

“Those are the students who were most impacted by the pandemic, and they’re the ones who are going to suffer the longer-term consequences,” Strunk said. “They’re not going to have the same access.”

Read more at The Associated Press.