Nation’s Report Card Reveals Remote Learning Devastated Arizona Students’ Intellect

Nation’s Report Card Reveals Remote Learning Devastated Arizona Students’ Intellect

By Corinne Murdock |

It appears the costs of pandemic-era remote learning far outweighed the benefits, based on the average student’s comprehension in math and reading.

According to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data released Monday, Arizona students were middle of the pack in a nationwide decline. The state’s scoring revealed severe learning losses in math and nominal losses in reading. 


Nationwide, the NAEP report revealed a negative correlation between remote learning and learning loss. Chalkbeat displayed the correlation through graphs. Public schools and large cities experienced the greatest decline in math scores. 


In a press release, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) associate commissioner Daniel McGrath warned that learning losses in math could limit STEM candidates. 

“Eighth grade is a pivotal moment in students’ mathematics education, as they develop key mathematics skills for further learning and potential careers in mathematics and science,” said McGrath. “If left unaddressed, this could alter the trajectories and life opportunities of a whole cohort of young people, potentially reducing their abilities to pursue rewarding and productive careers in mathematics, science, and technology.”

The scores come after several years of Democratic leaders advocating for school closures amid the pandemic.

Julie Gunnigle, Democratic candidate for Maricopa County attorney, claimed in an August 2020 interview that remote learning would make kids smarter and stronger. Throughout the pandemic, she insisted that schools be restructured to prevent COVID-19 transmission before reopening.

“I think these kids are going to come out a lot stronger than, for example, my generation is. Like, having to cope with all of this. And a lot smarter, too,” said Gunnigle. “They’re going to be really prepared to brave this, well, brave new technological world.”

Last October, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told NPR that the number of school age-youth with mental health issues rose from 13-22 percent to 80 percent over the course of the pandemic. Last December, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy reported that the pandemic caused a mental health crisis in the nation’s youth. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic further altered [youth] experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating,” stated Murthy.

Kathy Hoffman, incumbent Arizona Department of Education (ADE) superintendent, advocated for remote learning as recently as January. Like Gunnigle, Hoffman insisted that preventing COVID-19 illness was more important than an in-person education.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

More Americans Support Blanket Student Debt Forgiveness, Here’s Why They are Wrong

More Americans Support Blanket Student Debt Forgiveness, Here’s Why They are Wrong

By Chloe Anagnos |

A recent GoBankingRates survey found that over 50% of Americans want student-loan forgiveness for everyone with any student-loan debt. Considering Democratic lawmakers are hoping President Joe Biden will keep his promise to cancel $50,000 in student debt per person, this data could certainly be used for leverage. But while the number of Americans who now want to see all higher ed-related debt simply erased from the books is growing, it doesn’t mean that we should follow along.

Pandemic and lockdown-related unemployment coupled with a slow economic growth following the low reopening of most states have, indeed, made it difficult for countless Americans to pay off their debt. It is thus natural to see U.S. residents wanting to help those in difficult situations. However, blanket loan forgiveness isn’t a response to hardship. It isn’t even a response to the broken American higher education system. Instead, loan forgiveness will only remove our attention from the errors of subsidized higher education.

Despite politicians’ best efforts, there’s simply no bottomless pit of money anywhere. Taxpayers, and even the Federal Reserve, will eventually run dry.

>> READ MORE >>>

Bill Allowing To-Go Cocktails Signed Into Law

Bill Allowing To-Go Cocktails Signed Into Law

On Friday, Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Weninger, that allows bars, liquor stores and restaurants to sell cocktails to-go. The bill is intended to mitigate the damage done to businesses due to the governor’s draconian shut down order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2020, Ducey issued his draconian Executive Order restricting enforcement of regulations that prohibit sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages with the purchase of food to help mitigate the disasterous financial consequences of the pandemic-related pause on certain business operations.

House Bill 2773 permanently allows Arizona businesses the opportunity to offer to-go cocktails beyond the pandemic.

Parents, Students Struggle As Educators Wreak Havoc With Schedules, Learning Environments

Parents, Students Struggle As Educators Wreak Havoc With Schedules, Learning Environments

School age children and their parents are facing multiple issues and making difficult decisions as schools officials, school board members, and teachers’ unions wreak havoc with their schedules and learning environments. As a result, many students are falling behind and many parents are struggling to keep up with all of it.

It seems every week, the news is filled with headlines related to school openings, school closings, and teacher “sick outs.” Rarely do we hear from the families that are affected by the decisions reflected in the headlines.

Those families are facing the hard choice of keeping their jobs to support their families or losing their jobs to stay home and teach their children. Many parents are feeling hopeless and see themselves in a lose-lose situation, especially single parents.

Parents are also getting frustrated at the lack of consistency. While school unions claim its unsafe to return to in person school, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci doesn’t agree.

“The default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school or to get them back to school.” Stated the controversial but always overly cautious Fauci, “If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected.”

So why then are schools not opening? Many teachers are refusing to go back into the classroom and with the pre-existing teacher shortage already in high demand its putting school district administrators, parents and students in a rough position.

Mother, and Tucson Realtor ©, Melissa Velazquez, is staying positive. “Trying to motivate teenagers to stay on track with Zoom calls and submitting assignments on time is a full-time job,” said Velaquez. “Thankfully, as a Realtor ©, I can work from home when I’m not with clients. I don’t know how families are managing when parents need to work full time out of the home.”

While parents are trying to be positive and agreeable, the schools are providing little support. According to Melissa, the teachers seem to be more lenient when it comes to assignment deadlines, but that is about it. outside of that. Melissa, like countless other parents, is certain her kids aren’t learning as much as they usually would if they were in school.

Katie, a single mom, had to make a very difficult choice. Without her kids in school, she would have had to pay for daycare, paying out more than she earned in the collapsing service industry.

Katie has decided on homeschooling for now, saying she felt like the pandemic was being treated as more of a political issue then a community safety issue.

According to childcare cost averaged $215 a week in 2019, or $10,320 annually. Paying for a nanny is averaged $565 a week in 2019, or $27,120 annually. Creating an impossible situation for parents that need to work outside of their household.

After school programs have also been placed on hold during the pandemic making it even more stressful on parents and creating a negative effect on children’s mental health.

According to, “students are experiencing many increased risks: up to 14 months of learning loss; food insecurity rates have doubled from 18% to 35%; emergency department visits related to mental health have increased 24 percent for children aged 5-11 and have spike 31 percent among adolescents aged 12-17.”

Instead of the focus being on providing the best and safest education to students, schools seem comfortable leaving many unanswered questions while keeping school doors closed.