Our Children Are Not “Behind” Due to the COVID‐19 Pandemic, but Our Institutional Response Might Be

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As the COVID‐19 pandemic progresses, the idea that children are “behind” has become a common refrain in the US media and a concern among families and educators. In this context, the designation “behind” suggests that young people are not making academic progress and/or developing socioemotionally at the rate they were expected to do so before the pandemic. The experiences of those who have cared for or worked with children before and during the pandemic indicate this is likely true—that students are not progressing according to the early 2000s' version of the timetables and metrics established for young people. However, it is essential to recognize that the COVID‐19 pandemic has altered the academic and developmental landscape in a fundamental way, perhaps permanently.