Apr 23, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 387 words, a 2-minute read.

  • ☪️ Ramadan, the annual Islamic holy month, begins this evening. Worthy of your time, from N.Y. Times Opinion, "Ramadan Amid a Pandemic."
1 big thing: The kids will lose ground

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A likely coronavirus scenario: More inequality among schoolkids, made worse the longer they're not in classrooms.

Why it matters: Summer breaks already require some kids to do more catchup than others, and many students won't return to schools until the fall — at the earliest.

The big picture: 39 states plus D.C. and 3 U.S. territories have closed schools for the school year, with others facing deadlines soon on whether to reopen on May 1 or later, Education Week reports.

"What used to be a three-month summer learning loss, which was always an issue, is now going to be a five- or six-month summer learning loss," Khan Academy CEO Sal Khan said at an Axios event today.

  • "Based on the historical data, it looks like kids will not only not learn for those six months, but they’ll be forgetting for those six months — so they’ll probably lose an entire year," he told Axios' Kim Hart.

Between the lines: History and geography scores among 8th graders have declined since 2014, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced today.

  • Lower-performing students lost more ground than middle- and higher-performing students, mirroring a pattern seen in recent reading and math scores, the AP reports.

The bottom line: Every parent wants the best for their kids, but this period — when parents with fewer resources are left to fend for themselves — will result in more kids left behind.

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photographer: Maika Elan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Above: Vietnam's social distancing order is easing for most of the country just ahead of next week's four-day holiday.

Below: A worker at a state job center in Pearl, Miss., holds an unemployment benefit application as she waits for a client.

Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/AP
2. Catch up quick
  1. Public health latest: Gilead's coronavirus drug flops in first major trial.
  2. States latest: Cuomo tears into McConnell for suggesting states should declare bankruptcy — Hogan dismisses McConnell's "blue state bailout" claim as "complete nonsense."
  3. Congress latest: House to vote today on interim coronavirus relief bill.
  4. 🎧 Podcast: The story behind the coronavirus job losses.
3. 1 helpful thing

High school junior, Will Olsen, 17, of Kensington, Md. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

In the D.C. area, a network of around 100 3D printers, most in individual homes, is producing face shields for distribution to Washington-area hospitals. (AP)

  • Twice a week, volunteer drivers such as Will Olsen gather up the printed materials from people’s homes.
  • To maintain social distancing and reduce personal interactions, residents leave the newly printed parts in a sealed bag or box on their porches.

The big picture: The group says it has printed 3,000 shields so far with a goal of completing 10,000 in April.