The 'coronavirus slide' in education and what to do about it

A man points to a book that a young child is reading.
Mohamed Nor Qeys, 29, of Minneapolis reads a children's book with his son Safwan Nor, 6, during the spring 2020 semester, when schools were closed.
Courtesy of Mohamed Nor Qeys

As K-12 students age, they lose more and more of their school-year learning gains over the summer months.

On top of the summer slide, educators are now talking about the coronavirus slide — the loss of reading and math skills and other abilities as students were forced to forgo traditional classroom learning for months during the pandemic.

MPR host Angela Davis discusses what researchers are already discovering about the disruption the pandemic has created when it comes to learning. Two Minnesota school leaders will also weigh in on what we can do about it.


  • Jena Carlson is the director of curriculum and instruction for Brooklyn Center Community Schools.

  • Tonya Allen is the principal of North Education Center, an alternative school in New Hope.

  • Fumiko Hoeft is a neuroscientist, psychiatrist and professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut. She is currently studying pandemic-related learning loss.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.

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