The pandemic has wreaked havoc on American education. Most students fell behind academically, and racial and economic gaps widened. High school graduation rates dropped in many states last year, halting two decades of progress. Schools are facing crippling shortages of substitute teachers and bus drivers. And tens of thousands of children have lost a parent or caregiver to COVID. It’s a blizzard of real and alarming data points. But some other common, fear-inducing claims about the state of American schooling are inaccurate or unproven, although they may contain an important grain of truth. To read the full story.