Anna Markowitz: Losing Kindergarten in Pandemic May Have Longterm Effects

Assistant professor of education comments on falling enrollments and disadvantaged students who will fall behind.

UCLA Assistant Professor of Education Anna Markowitz was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in an article on falling kindergarten enrollments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She commented on the learning loss for 4-, 5- and 6-year-old students, who since the coronavirus closed schools in March of this year, are not acquiring socialization skills with other children or the bonding with teachers that are part of the kindergarten experience.

Markowitz comments on the immediate and longterm effects of low kindergarten enrollment, particularly upon underserved students and families.

“If these families are disproportionately losing access to kindergarten, then it is likely that there will be downstream impacts on their learning when they have to catch up to children who both began school with greater advantages and had that opportunity for formal learning in kindergarten,” said Professor Markowitz to the Times.

Markowitz joined the faculty of the division of Human Development & Psychology in 2019. Her research focuses on how policies shape human development, particularly those that affect children, their families, and their educators and caregivers.

In July, Professor Markowitz published an commentary in EdSource on the need for greater investment in protections for children and the childcare workforce in California, co-written with Professor Rashmita Mistry, UCLA professor of education and vice chair of Undergraduate Education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

To read, “Zoom overload, COVID-19 hardship: Thousands of kindergartners are no-shows at local schools,” visit the Los Angeles Times website.

Markowitz was interviewed by WBUR, National Public Radio, Boston. To listen, visit this link.