Two decades worth of math and reading progress erased by the pandemic

The learning gap is widening.
students taking test


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The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that American schoolchildren have lost as much as two decades worth of learning progress.

9-year-olds have lost the most ground with math and reading scores dropping by the largest margin in 30 years. The decline encompasses nearly all races and income levels but Black students lost 13 points while white students lost 5 points.

The test was administered to a group of nearly 15,000 9-year-olds and then the results were compared to the results of the tests taken by the same age group in 2020.

Students in the bottom 10th percentile saw the biggest drop. While performers in the 90th percentile only showed a drop of three points in math, the students in the bottom percentile dropped by 12 points, meaning that the gap between the top and bottom percentile students is widening even further.

The dramatic drop in scores is almost solely attributed to the pandemic, which disrupted the educational system and classroom environment nationwide.

Officials don’t know how long it will take students to rebound from the pandemic’s effects, but the results could influence how schools decide to spend their remaining Covid relief dollars.

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