Remote learning is taking a tragic toll on CUNY enrollment

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New numbers out of CUNY’s Office of Institutional Research show another ugly result of the “remote learning” fiasco, The City reports: Freshman enrollment dropped 11% from 2019 to 2022, with the absence of in-school education for high-school seniors a central cause.

The insistence on keeping schools closed and offering often-pretend online instruction instead hit hard across all grades. Indeed, 97% of educators say learning declined and 57% say students are at least three months behind in social-emotional progress because of it.

As CUNY Graduate Center’s Paul Attewell — a specialist in higher-education inequity and author of the new research paper “Where Have All The Students Gone?” — notes, remote learning in New York City high schools deprived students of the peer pressure of college-bound classmates and of advisers inquiring about kids’ future plans.

CUNY’s bad news looks even grimmer when you recall that the school is a leading engine of economic mobility: As the Brookings Institution and others have found, it’s a national leader in lifting low-income students into the middle class.

The remote-learning farce again proves to have hit the neediest kids the hardest.

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