November 13, 2023

Senator Schmitt Sends Letter to Secretary of Education Regarding Learning Loss Caused by School Shutdowns During COVID-19

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt sent a letter to Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona demanding answers regarding the severe learning loss of students across the United States caused by unprecedented school shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Thousands of classrooms across America are struggling to mitigate learning loss caused by unnecessary school shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter reads. “Parents, families, responsible educators, and lawmakers alike demand and deserve accountability in the classroom. Parents entrust teachers with the responsibility of teaching their children math, reading, and history because education is paramount to supporting our communities’ continued growth and achievement. We must support our students and get their education back on track.”

“We owe it to future generations to guarantee they have the opportunities and resources to become educated citizens ready to contribute to their communities. All stakeholders in education need to be held accountable and serve the students to secure their achievement and success when they leave school,” the letter continues.


  • Research has shown that the test scores of 13-year-olds in math and reading have plummeted to the lowest levels since 1990 and 2004, respectively.
  • Nearly half of high school seniors did not reach the benchmarks of college readiness and are not prepared to succeed in a postsecondary program. This poses serious problems for the landscape of the future workforce. 
  • Only a limited number of children – 4.4 out of 100,000 – have been hospitalized for COVID-19. Despite this, the leaders of unelected teachers’ unions demanded stricter shutdowns, remote learning, and more tax dollars for less work.
    • Rather than support their students in a time of uncertainty, unions colluded with government entities and ultimately harmed our children’s future.