NAEP Assessments Show Striking Decline in Math and Reading Scores During the Pandemic
A new federal study has underscored the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on America’s students.
This was the first national study to compare student achievement before the pandemic and in 2022. It shows the largest decline in reading scores in 30 years and the first declines in math since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began in the 1970s.
In math, the average score for 9-year-old students fell 7 percentage points between 2020 and 2022, according to the study. The average reading score fell 5 points. Among students who were already struggling, the rate of decline was even greater.
“These are some of the largest declines we have observed in a single assessment cycle in 50 years of the NAEP program,” said Acting National Center for Education Statistics Associate Commissioner Daniel McGrath in a news release. “Students in 2022 are performing at a level last seen two decades ago.”
Declines were seen nationwide, but the Northeast and Midwest fared worse on reading scores compared with the West and South. While reading declines were similar among races, Black and Latino students saw disproportionate decreases in math scores.
“There has been a truly historic decrease in performance,” said Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of LA Unified. “So whether you look at reading or mathematics, this is obviously a grave concern, particularly when you disaggregate the data. Why? When you disaggregate the data, the most severe performance loss or decreases we’re seeing are experienced by the lower-performing students.”
Read the entire report here.