Student Test Scores ‘Worst In Decades’

Empty Classroom

Math and reading scores for 9-year-olds in the US fell between 2020 and 2022 by a level not seen in decades, a foreboding sign of the state of American education two years after the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The results were part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term trend reading and math exams, often called the “Nation’s Report Card,” conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The exams were administered to age-9 students in early 2020 before the pandemic and then again in early 2022, the group said.

The average scores in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in math compared to 2020 – the most significant decline in reading since 1990 and the first ever decline in math, the organization said.

US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the drop was due to remote learning versus in the classroom. “In-person learning is where we need to focus. We need to double down our efforts. I’m very concerned about those scores, and I know that we have the resources now, and we need to maintain the same level of urgency we had two years ago to get our students back into making sure that our students get support.”

It was also reported that states with more stringent lockdowns had the most severe underperformance in testing. With places that pushed ‘at home learning’ the longest seeing the most significant declines.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Student test scores plummeted in math and reading after the pandemic, new assessment finds  CNN
  2. The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading  The New York Times
  3. Students’ math, reading scores during COVID-19 pandemic saw steepest decline in decades: Education Department  Fox News
  4. Reading and Math Scores Plummeted During Pandemic, New Data Show  The Wall Street Journal
  5. Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show  CTPost
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.