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April 13, 2023
The results are in, and they’re not great.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, reading scores for students across the country have dipped slightly since 2019, while math scores have dropped more significantly.
This is likely due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic over the past two years, which have made it difficult for many students to stay on track with their studies.
However, there is some good news: The NAEP report shows that students’ scores on science and social studies tests have remained stable since 2019. So while there may be some catching up to do in math and reading, at least students haven’t fallen behind in other subject areas.
Now it’s up to educators and parents to help students get back on track in math and reading, so that they can be successful in all subject areas.
Every two years, the NAEP assesses reading and math proficiency for students in grades four and eight; however, due to pandemic-related delays, the 2021 assessment will now take place in 2022.
By 2022, the average fourth-grade math score is projected to decrease by 5 points—lower than any scores since 2005. Additionally, eighth-grademath scores are predictedto drop 8 points—the lowest they’ve been since 2003.
“This is a national tragedy,” said Daria Hall, executive director of K-12 policy at Education Trust. “We have never seen scores decline this dramatically in the history of NAEP.”
“We know that students who have been most impacted by the pandemic are those who were already struggling the most,” said Hall. “This data is a heartbreaking reminder of the long-term effects of educational inequity.”
Despite the grim news, there is some silver lining: The achievement gap between white and black students narrowed slightly in fourth-grade math and reading.
“This data is a call to action for educators, families, and policymakers,” said Hall. “We must do everything we can to help students catch up on the learning they’ve lost.”