How to close the learning gap

The pandemic made the tough profession of teaching even tougher. Teachers remain under an unprecedented level of strain, exacerbated by shortages that have plagued school systems across the country. The impact on K–12 student learning has been significant: Unless steps are taken to address unfinished learning in the US, today’s students may earn $49,000 to $61,000 less over their lifetime; without teachers, closing the learning gap won’t be possible. Ahead of #TeacherAppreciationWeek, dive deeper into these topics:

  • how learning loss is affecting students around the world
  • teachers’ perspectives on unfinished learning, especially remote learning
  • how states can improve support for children from birth to age 5 to ensure the best start in life
  • reimaging the future of K-12 education

How COVID-19 caused a global learning crisis

COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning

Teacher survey: Learning loss is global—and significant

COVID-19 and education: An emerging K-shaped recovery

How states can improve well-being for all children, from birth to age five

Drivers of student performance: Insights from North America

Reimagining a more equitable and resilient K–12 education system

More from McKinsey

How do school shutdowns affect student achievement gaps?

Partnering with UNESCO to help school systems respond to COVID-19