Students falling behind in math during pandemic, study finds; Trump adviser Scott Atlas leaving post; and more

A disproportionately large number of poor and minority students were not in schools for assessments this fall, complicating efforts to measure the pandemic’s effects on some of the most vulnerable students, a not-for-profit company that administers standardized testing said Tuesday.

Overall, NWEA’s fall assessments showed elementary and middle school students have fallen measurably behind in math, while most appear to be progressing at a normal pace in reading since schools were forced to abruptly close in March and pickup online.

The analysis of data from nearly 4.4 million U.S. students in grades 3-8 represents one of the first significant measures of the pandemic’s impacts on learning. Read more:

Here’s an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • Dr. Scott Atlas, a science adviser to President Donald Trump who was skeptical of measures to control the coronavirus outbreak, is leaving his White House post.
  • As the US prepares for the first round of vaccinations to tackle Covid-19, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci called on the public to “be part of the solution” and get vaccinated once it is available.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is scheduled to meet with Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn in the West Wing Tuesday, as President Donald Trump has privately demanded to know why the agency hasn’t granted emergency use for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine yet, according to two sources.
  • European regulators may approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech within four weeks, the EU’s drug agency said Tuesday, a time frame that could mean the shot is rolled out first in the United States and Britain.
  • Vietnamese authorities are conducting intensive contact tracing after the country’s first confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus in 89 days.
  • The coronavirus has cast a pall over Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, all but shutting down the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace at the height of the normally cheery holiday season.
  • A staggering rise in coronavirus cases could overwhelm California’s health system within weeks and “drastic” action such as a widespread stay-at-home order may be needed to combat the threat, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned.
  • Americans returning from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the nationwide surge because of holiday gatherings over the long weekend.
  • Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.

Virus by the numbers