New data out Monday from the U.S. Department of Education shows a majority of states saw declines in student achievement in math and reading. The National Assessment of Educational Progress compiled test scores from a sample of fourth and eighth graders across the country.
Like other recently released state data, the Nation’s Report Card shows declines in student learning compared to pre-pandemic levels. The Nation’s Report Card provides a state-by-state comparison of student achievement in math and reading at fourth and eighth grade. In 2019, the most recent year of the report’s release, scores had also declined.
Scores dropped in 43 states, including Oregon and Washington.
The steepest declines were found in eighth grade math, both nationally and in the Northwest.
Oregon eighth graders scored nine points lower in math in 2022 compared to 2019. In Washington, students scored 10 points lower.
Oregon students experienced larger declines in reading scores than the national average and in Washington. Test results in reading for Oregon fourth and eighth graders fell seven points, compared to a 3-point decline nationally. In Washington, fourth grade scores went down three points, and eighth grade scores fell 5 points.
“The results show the profound toll on student learning during the pandemic, as the size and scope of the declines are the largest ever in mathematics,” said National Center for Education Statistics commissioner Peggy G. Carr in a press release announcing the report.
“The results also underscore the importance of instruction and the role of schools in both students’ academic growth and their overall wellbeing. It’s clear we all need to come together — policymakers and community leaders at every level — as partners in helping our educators, children, and families succeed.”
In a press briefing, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the pandemic made catching up more difficult for lower-performing students.
“Today’s results show that children who were already furthest from opportunity before March 2020 and who were most impacted by COVID need the greatest support now to make up for lost ground in reading and math,” Cardona said.
These scores are different from the recently released state assessments. NAEP standards tend to be higher than state assessments. Oregon, along with most other states, rank at the NAEP Basic achievement level when comparing state proficiency standards.