Amid the conversions to virtual learning brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of students — particularly Black and Latino — have been negatively affected, with some falling three months behind in math, according to education consultant McKinsey & Company.

Former Education Secretary John King Jr., who currently heads the nonprofit Education Trust, said one way to get students back on track is a national tutoring corps composed of older students paid to tutor younger students.

“We have decades of research showing that high-intensity tutoring can help students make up lost ground academically very quickly,” King said in a recent interview with Mary Louise Kelly on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

King, who served during the Obama administration, said one key takeaway from the pandemic-induced changes is the importance of self-motivation among students.

“In a virtual or hybrid learning environment, students have to set goals for themselves,” he said. “They have to manage their work, they have to ask questions when they need help, they have to collaborate independently with peers. Those skills are things that will serve students well in college and in careers.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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