Test scores in both reading and math declined for 13-year-old students between 2012 and 2020 new data The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) was released on Thursday.
why it matters: This is the first major decline in the two disciplines since the NAEP began tracking long-term academic achievement trends in the 1970s.
- According to US News & World Report, Beverly Perdue, chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, said, “These data suggest that student progress has declined or stalled prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.” “
- “Clearly, these results sound the alarm at all levels that education policy should be the top priority to change these results,” Perdue said.
big picture: Test scores for 13-year-olds have dropped by three points and maths by five points since 2012. According to the data, the score remained the same for nine-year-olds.
- Black and Hispanic students have made the biggest gains in both math and reading test scores since the 1980s.
- According to statistics, the gap in scores between high performing and low performing students is increasing. In both age groups and subjects, scores for low-performing students have declined since 2012.
- The sharpest decline in math occurred among Black and Hispanic 13-year-olds, who saw test scores drop by eight points and four points.
- About 34,000 nine- and 13-year-olds were assessed during the 2019 to 2020 academic year before COVID-19.
What are they saying: Peggy G. Carr, associate commissioner in the National Center for Education Statistics’ evaluation department, which oversees the administration of the test and analysis of results, said the results were particularly difficult.
- “I’ve been reporting these results for years — for decades — and I’ve never reported a slide like this,” Carr said.
- “These performance drops are particularly notable among underperforming students, who no longer demonstrate competency in skills that students were able to perform nearly a decade ago across both subjects and age groups,” Carr said.
of note: Carr said other tests in different disciplines and in other countries show similar patterns for high performers, while scores for low performers decline.
- “Whatever is happening is systemic and it is happening across all of our samples and distributions,” Carr said.