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The kids are not alright

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3 months 1 week ago - 3 months 1 week ago #155 by PABlo
Math and reading test scores for America's fourth grade students dropped during the first two years of the pandemic, federal study finds; reading scores fell the most in 30 years, while math scores fell for the first time.

The pandemic—and its school shutdowns—made a massive dent in how much kids learned over the last two years. National test scores for US nine-year-olds released yesterday showed that math and reading proficiency dropped to their lowest levels in decades.

The math scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, often dubbed the “nation’s report card,” reflect the first decline since the government started tracking the data in 1971, with the average score dipping seven points between 2020 and 2022. The average reading score went down five points, the largest fall in more than 30 years.

Covid didn’t affect all kids equally: The lowest-performing students were the most impacted.
  • Kids in the 90th percentile had a mere three-point drop in math, while scores dipped 12 points for those in the bottom 10th.
  • Though scores went down across racial lines, the gap between Black and white students in math widened. Scores dropped 13 points for Black students but just five points for white students, increasing the existing disparity by eight points.
  • The steepest declines were in the Midwest and Northeast, though scores decreased all across the US.
  • And it’s not just test scores that are looking grim—school violence, absenteeism, cyberbullying, and students using mental health services, as well as teacher vacancies, all went up during the pandemic.

Big picture: Your mom might have assured you that the fourth-grade geology test you failed won’t matter in the long run, but…education experts say it will be tough for kids who fell this far behind at age nine to catch up. That means Covid’s toll on education is likely to have economic consequences for a long time to come.

Still, schools are racing to get kids back up to speed. The federal government has earmarked $122 billion to help students get past the pandemic, and some of that cash is being spent on tutoring. More after-school programs and summer schools are other options to get kids where they need to be.

SOURCES:
Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show
Reading and Math Scores Plummeted During Pandemic, New Data Show
Last edit: 3 months 1 week ago by PABlo.

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