What could happen if coronavirus closed schools for awhile

One month in

After a month away from their usual school routines, American students would be even further behind schedule in their yearly curricula—and at this point, their performance on standardized tests and entrance exams for the following year could be in jeopardy. Indeed, now that Hong Kong’s schools have been closed for more than a month, some students have expressed concern over their Diploma of Secondary Education Exams, the tests used to gain entrance to local universities. The tests are scheduled to begin later this month. Two student groups this week urged the Education Bureau to postpone the exams, saying the current arrangements pose “great danger to students’ health.” Officials have said the exams will go ahead on March 27, though certain components, like Chinese speaking and music, will be delayed until May.

As of 2015, American students were estimated to take about eight standardized tests every year. Although U.S. schools have reportedly backed off of this kind of testing slightly since the mid-2010s, standardized tests remain a regular part of students’ and educators’ lives, as well as a key ingredient in the assessment of schools’ performance. Obviously, a month away from classes, or an abrupt shift to online learning, could jeopardize students’ performance on these tests.