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Leveling down: Impacts of the pandemic on learning loss in the 5th grade of Brazilian elementary education




School performance, Elementary education, Covid-19 pandemic, Socioeconomic status


This paper discusses learning losses in the early years of elementary education at a national level, before and after the Covid-19 pandemic, with special attention to the importance of technical-pedagogical resources mobilized by schools in potentially minimizing the decline in performance. A panel of average school results from the Basic Education Evaluation System (Saeb) was used, along with data from the Basic Education Census and other educational indicators. Descriptive results indicate that the pandemic mainly impacted schools with higher pre-crisis performance, leading to an overall "leveling down" of the education system, particularly affecting schools with students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and with less institutional capacity to respond to the pandemic. Linear models with municipal fixed effects suggest that, when controlling for pre-crisis performance and socioeconomic status, the technical-pedagogical response to the pandemic and the time of in-person schooling had low practical significance as non-causal effects. In summary, the research identifies a certain apathy of schools and educational boards towards mobilized tools, which raises questions about the effectiveness of such resources in dealing with the crisis.


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How to Cite

Senkevics, A. S., & Alcântara, V. G. (2023). Leveling down: Impacts of the pandemic on learning loss in the 5th grade of Brazilian elementary education. In SciELO Preprints.


Applied Social Sciences


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