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National test scores fall to lowest levels in decades

Reading scores for elementary school students plunged with their lowest levels since 1990 through the first 2 yrs of the pandemic and math scores dropped for the very first time in the annals of a nationally representative test dating back to to the 1970s.

Why it matters: The national test outcomes out Thursday construct the extent to that your pandemic devastated learning outcomes for America’s students, particularly for all those which were most vulnerable even prior to the pandemic.

  • “They are a few of the largest declines we’ve observed in an individual assessment cycle in 50 years of the [National Assessment of Education Progress] program,” acting associate commissioner Daniel McGrath said in a statement.
  • “Students in 2022 are performing at a rate last seen 2 decades ago.”

Driving the news headlines: The outcomes on the National Assessment for Educational Progress, or NAEP, showed a seven-point drop in math scores among nine-year-olds, mostly fourth graders, and a five-point drop in reading scores.

  • The tests were administered from January to March in 2020 and 2022.
  • The decline in learning outcomes were starkest among lower-performing students.
  • Top-performing students, those in the 90th percentile, showed a 3 point drop in math scores, weighed against lower-performing students, those in the 10th percentile, experiencing a 12 point decline.
  • Math scores for Black students fell 13 points, in comparison to a 5 point decrease among white students.

Between your lines: Of the 70% of test takers who said they learned remotely last school year, higher performers had greater usage of resources more regularly, including a pc or quiet spot to work, in comparison to lower performers, per the outcomes.

The picture as a whole: The test outcomes are considered a trusted snapshot of student learning outcomes because of the assessments being standardized nationwide and as the test has remained consistent, the brand new York Times notes.

  • Students’ scores have generally ticked upward because the 1970s, once the test was initially administered, however in modern times the increases have waned slightly, per the changing times.

State of play: The pandemic disrupted practically all areas of the educational experience and experts warn that the intimidating task of student recovery could take years.

  • “Unless we act on the next year or two to reverse these losses, this is the initial significant widening of the racial achievement gap in 30 years,” Thomas Kane, a Harvard economist who did extensive research on the pandemic achievement loss, said in a Harvard EdCast interview.

Go deeper… Schools turn to get back on the right track after 2 terrible years

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