No pandemic learning loss in Sweden during the pandemic (unlike New Mexico)

Remember when Sweden (and Swedish schools) remained open while New Mexico and many other “blue” states shut down, including schools during the COVID pandemic? We do. Nonetheless, Michelle Lujan Grisham shut the schools down for over a year costing our children dearly, a mistake that one researcher told the New York Times was “the largest increase in educational inequity in a generation.”

Now, research (click on the image below) finds that Swedish children experienced NO learning loss during the pandemic. Below that is the sorry tale from New Mexico (again, click the pictures for source).

Oh, and Sweden’s death rate from COVID was lower than the US as a whole and about half of New Mexico’s rate.


When looking at reading scores by state, all but six states saw a decrease in students hitting a state-set landmark. The poor reading marks indicate that students, especially younger ones, are still struggling, with a median student-growth percentile of 35, showing very low growth

The math exam saw students perform similarly, with 10 states slightly rising above the 50 mark - Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Vermont, and North and South Dakota

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4 Replies to “No pandemic learning loss in Sweden during the pandemic (unlike New Mexico)”

  1. Primary schools remained closed in Sweden with apparently no learning loss. Primary schools were closed in NM (and most of the rest of world) and there was a learning loss? Wow. I’m shocked.
    That said, a little research on the internet strongly suggests that Sweden is not the best “POSITIVE” model to make comparisons with. Further, any comparison of Covid response “success” between diverse cultures , geographic settings and economic wealth will always be questionable. Relevant links follow.

    Evaluation of science advice during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden (

    Hiltzik: The horrifying toll of Sweden’s lax pandemic policy – Los Angeles Times (

    Scathing evaluation of Sweden’s COVID response reveals ‘failures’ to control the virus – ABC News (


  2. Comparison with Florida may be a better match, given Florida’s large demographic of senior citizens and retirees which is closer to NM than Sweden. Main points:

    – Florida reopened schools in August 2020 and they have stayed open ever since. NM schools reopened one year later.

    – Florida had 277.1 COVID deaths per 100K people, ranked 22nd. NM had 337.2, ranked 40th.

    – Florida ranked 34th in all-cause excess deaths, NM ranked 50th.

    Florida chose to target protection of those most vulnerable (the elderly) and let those least vulnerable (children) attend school in person. “Lockdown Lujan” kept the schools closed and worsened the education of many children especially the poor who need it the most, and implemented no targeted protection for the most vulnerable in NM, instead using the lazy “one size fits all” approach. This resulted in a loss of education for NM kids while simultaneously resulting in a terrible performance in preventing deaths. Locking down the schools was clearly a failure.

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