Schooling in Ukraine (News and Research 304)

The race is on across Ukraine to build new bunkers. Not for soldiers on the front lines, but students in schools | The new school year is a day of celebration in Ukraine, where children dress up and give bouquets of flowers to their teachers. But Russia’s invasion has cast a shadow on the happy day. Now educational facilities across the country are racing to build bunkers and bomb shelters for returning students. Oksana Matiiash, the head of Teach For Ukraine, an educational non-profit that trains and recruits young teachers to work in schools in low-income communities…“A lot of people in Ukraine cannot afford extra help for their children – tutors, paid academic support – so I’m afraid to think about the number of months or maybe even years for learning that Ukrainian children have lost.”

Reading achievement declines during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from 5 million U.S. students in grades 3–8 | The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented disruption in students’ academic development. Using reading test scores from 5 million U.S. students in grades 3–8, it is shown that average fall 2021 reading test scores in grades 3–8 were 0.09 to 0.17 standard deviations lower relative to same-grade peers in fall 2019, with the largest impacts in grades 3–5. Students of color attending high-poverty elementary schools saw the largest test score declines in reading.

Variability in the impacts of COVID-19 on student achievement | There is robust evidence that children lost ground academically as a consequence of the pandemic, but less research into how the effects varied by school district and household demographics. Using test data from 2.1 million students across the US, this column finds that remote instruction was a primary driver of widening achievement gaps by race and poverty.

The Pandemic’s effect on demand for public schools, homeschooling, and private schools | The Covid-19 pandemic drastically disrupted the functioning of U.S. public schools, potentially changing the relative appeal of alternatives such as homeschooling and private schools.

Parental Anxieties over Student Learning Dissipate as Schools Relax Anti-Covid Measures | But parent reports indicate some shift away from district schools to private, charter, and homeschooling alternatives.

Student achievement gaps and the pandemic: A new review of evidence from 2021–2022 | This report begins the second round of an updated series of papers that aim to provide a definitive account of the best available evidence on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected America’s students.

Promoting Parental Involvement in Schools: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments | Parental involvement programs aim to strengthen school-home relations with the goal of improving children’s educational outcomes. Using data from two experiments, we examine the effects of a parental involvement program in Mexico, which provides parent associations with grants and information. Grants to parent associations did not improve educational outcomes. Information to parent associations reduced disciplinary actions in schools, mainly by changing parents’ behaviors. Our results suggest that parental involvement interventions may not achieve their intended goal if institutional rules are unclear about the expectations of parents and teachers as parents increase their involvement in schools.

Returns to Education in the Public and Private Sectors: Europe and Central Asia | The returns to schooling are estimated for 28 European and Central Asian countries using the Mincerian function. Our results show that while the public sector pays on average more than the private sector, the effect of education on earnings is stronger in the private sector. However, the returns to tertiary education are higher in the private sector.