In October 2020, "Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis" estimated that as many as 3 million K-12 students were at high risk of experiencing minimal or no educational access from spring through fall 2020 as a result of the pandemic. That number became a shorthand for understanding the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on America's students, particularly those furthest from opportunity.
Fast-forward one year later, and available data on 2020-21 enrollment, attendance, and engagement suggest massive missed learning opportunities, especially among the most marginalized students.
Students have experienced extraordinary disruptions in their educational trajectories. The individual stories vary, but across the country, it's clear that students with the greatest unmet educational needs before the pandemic experienced the most serious barriers to learning throughout 2020 and 2021. Even though public schools have reopened nationwide, students who went "missing in the margins" still urgently need support, attention, and dedicated resources.