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Report Reveals Decrease in Test Scores Amid Pandemic

Math and Reading Comprehension Scores Experienced Significant Decline During the Pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in daily life posed challenges for everyone, but students were particularly affected. With the shift to remote learning during lockdowns, students faced decreased motivation. A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that this challenging learning environment had lasting effects on students’ performance on tests.

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Analysis of math and reading comprehension test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” revealed that various student groups, especially fourth- and eighth-graders, experienced a substantial decline in scores, marking the most significant drop in years.

Speaking to CNN, US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized the importance of focusing on education improvement efforts, especially utilizing the relief funds allocated in the 2021 package to address these concerning trends.

“Eighth grade is that gateway to more advanced mathematical course taking,” noted National Center for Education Statistics Commissioner Peggy Carr in a public statement. “This is what these students are missing. They’re missing these important skills that will prepare them eventually for (science, technology, engineering, and math) level careers.”

“What we’re seeing is (lower performing) students … dropping even faster and we’re also seeing students who were not showing declines – students at the top, meaning students at the higher performing levels – they were holding steady before the pandemic or even improving,” Carr explained. “Now all the students, regardless of their ability, are dropping. That is the point we need to be taking away from this report.”

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