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Reading and math levels plummet in the US during the pandemic


The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the “nation’s report card,” released comprehensive data Monday for the first time since 2019.

The NAEP tested a representative sample of students in fourth (9-10 years) and eighth grade (13-14 years) and found that performance declined to 1992 levels in reading and 2003 levels in math.

A quarter of fourth graders and nearly four in ten eighth graders failed to grasp basic concepts.

“The NAEP results are appalling, unacceptable, and a reminder of the impact this pandemic has had on our students,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“How we respond to this will determine not only our recovery, but also our nation’s standing in the world,” he told reporters.

Previous research has shown that closing schools to prevent the spread of the virus hurt student learning, hitting those from low-income families and ethnic minorities harder.

The pandemic worsened learning outcomes in other ways, too, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which organizes the tests.

This included increased requests for mental health services, increased absenteeism, violence and school disruption, cyberbullying, and shortages of teachers and education personnel across the country.

The pandemic also widened the gap between the highest and lowest achieving students.

Thus, African-American and Hispanic students saw larger score drops compared to their white peers in fourth-grade math.

The entrance Reading and math levels plummet in the US during the pandemic was first published in diary TODAY.

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