Test Scores Fall after Covid
After years of covid-induced remote learning, test scores across the nation have dropped drastically. How could we have let this happen?
From WOLRD. Last week the National Center for Education Statistics released test scores showing the biggest drops in national average scores in math and reading in the last 50 years.
“It’s clear that COVID-19 shocked American education and stunted the academic growth of this age group of students,” NCES commissioner Peggy Carr told reporters. “We don’t make this statement lightly.”
The test scores released Thursday are the first national, data-based glimpse into just how much the pandemic affected student learning.
With little warning, teachers in spring 2020 moved everything from kindergarten reading skills to senior math on to screens. They often struggled to keep students engaged while surrounded by distracting pets or younger siblings. Students had difficulty focusing on a screen for hours a day, and some refused to turn on their cameras or even log on for class. Other households experienced spotty internet connectivity if they had it at all.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term trend test scores show a five-point drop in reading scores and a seven-point drop in math scores among 9-year-olds since early 2020. This year’s scores show the steepest decline in reading since 1990 and the first decline of any amount in math since the test was first administered in 1971.
In math, white students saw a five-point drop, while scores dropped by eight points among Hispanic students and 13 points among African Americans. In reading, scores for students in all three groups fell by six points.
Scores among top students only fell by two points in reading and three points in math, while scores for the lowest-performing students dropped by a shocking 10 points in reading and 12 points in math. No group saw an increase in scores.
Over half of students did not meet the median proficiency level in math, which NAEP defines as the ability to solve word problems that call for addition and subtraction and make comparisons after reading graphs and charts. In reading, 75 percent of students did not reach the median proficiency level at which they should be able to find specific information in longer written sections, as well as recognize main ideas from excerpts in literature, science, and social studies. …
The long-term trend test is administered every four years to a sample of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students in math and reading. This test has remained essentially the same since it was first administered in the early 1970s, giving analysts and educators an idea of how student learning compares to previous years. …
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(Excerpt from WORLD. Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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