Student Testing Results Fall for First Time in Nation’s History

Student Testing Results Fall For First Time In Nation's History

( – A new crisis in America’s schools has emerged, with data showing a steep fall in test scores after decades of improvement. The US is more reliant on communications and technology than ever, but our students are struggling to learn reading and math.

Every eight years, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – also known as the Nation’s Report Card – releases statistics showing how our schools are performing. Although the US education system hasn’t been a spectacular performer, results have been steadily improving since the NAEP started in the 1970s. Until now.

The 2020 figures show math and reading scores for 9-year-olds haven’t improved at all since 2012 – and scores for 13-year-olds have fallen significantly. In reading, average scores are down by three points; in math, it’s five points. Even worse, the biggest drops are in the lower-ranked percentiles, students who were already struggling.

Peggy Carr, a senior assessor at the National Center for Education Statistics, said, “None of these results are impressive… but the math results were particularly daunting… I’ve never reported a slide like that.”

Worst of all, the 2020 statistics were collected just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. After more than a year of disrupted education, with teaching unions still fighting to keep schools shut, how bad is the situation now?

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