By Gabriella Borter and Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) – Like millions of American children, Brody Cotton has not seen the inside of a classroom in more than a year.

As the COVID-19 pandemic left him navigating 7th grade from his couch in Carlsbad, California, Brody’s grades dropped from As and Bs to a D and two Fs last semester.

One of the Fs was in a “design and modeling” elective that would have entailed hands-on 3D printing projects in the classroom but became popsicle stick models at home.

“I never had to deal with any kind of educational issue with him before,” said his mother Christine Cullinan, 42, a single parent juggling her son’s schooling with a full-time job at an electronics company.

Brody’s peers also are struggling. The number of Fs received by students in Carlsbad, a small, affluent, mostly white city 30 miles north of San Diego, increased by more than three times during the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the same period in 2019-2020, according to school district data.

Grades and test performance appear to have declined markedly around the country after school buildings closed – especially among students of color, according to Reuters’ review …read more



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