I have been educating students for 2 decades in Shoreline, Connecticut.
Pre-pandemic, I noticed that students did not seem as strong as in the past. I can describe the reasons in greater depth for anyone interested in boring lecture! But I can sum up quickly with the obvious: social media/texting/video-games/YouTube/every other astonishing distraction….
Let me be clear: I do not blame parents, educators, or even the students for this demise.
Most parents had a TV – with nowhere nearly the amount of good shows to watch – and a phone as the primary distractions when home. In both cases, parents were near enough (family TV) or well aware (the home phone was being tied up) of how much distraction their children faced. Now…. even the highly involved parent cannot monitor the constant distraction that comes from the truly extraordinary area of entertainment available and the immediate and constant availability to connect with friends… and new acquaintances.
Post-pandemic, the evidence is abundant and clear: education has suffered. I have noticed the drop off during my SAT classes. Math skills have plummeted. The ability to pay attention in complex reading passages has suffered. Grammar…. well, let’s say that texting does not help!