New study finds IL students are falling behind in reading, math during online learning

CHICAGO (WLS) -- New research suggests remote learning is putting students behind in reading and math.

Researchers at Stanford University estimated the virtual classroom has put many kids behind in their studies.

In Illinois they found on average, students have lost more than a year in reading progress.

Illinois students are about a year and a half behind in math as well.

Like most kids, 6-year-old Persephone and 4-year-old Ezekiel are active and love to play. Sitting in front of a computer screen for school has been tough for them.

"You know, he had a wonderful teacher in the spring and they did a half an hour of really kind of getting the kids, virtually together but, But beyond that, there was little," said Meg Cooch.

"Students learn very differently when they're confronted with a screen than they do when they're actually sitting in a classroom with their peers and with their teacher in the same facility," explained Dr. Margaret Raymond from Stanford University.

The report found students in some economically disadvantaged schools have tended to fall even further behind with remote learning.

Former School Principal Sara Rich started a company called Just Right Reader aimed at getting physical books in the hands of kids and their parents.

The goal is to encourage kids to read by giving them books that will spark their interest and learning away from a computer screen.

For Cooch and her kids, it seems to be making a difference.

"Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, those years are really critical to having the kids have confidence in in learning and loving school, and I really wanted them to love school as I wanted them to love reading," Cooch said.
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