Parents have become a lot more optimistic about how well their children are doing in school. In 2020 and 2021, a majority of parents in the United States reported that the pandemic was hurting their children’s education. But by the fall of 2022, a Pew survey showed that only a quarter of parents thought their children were still behind; another study revealed that more than 90 percent thought their child had already or would soon catch up. To hear parents tell it, the pandemic’s effects on education were transitory. Are they right to be so sanguine? The latest evidence suggests otherwise.