Headline RoundupSeptember 1st, 2022

Study Reveals Large Drop in Test Scores for U.S. 9-Year-Olds

Summary from AllSides News Team

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the largest decline in reading scores since 1990, as well as the first ever decline in math scores, for 9-year-old students in the United States, according to a report published by the National Center for Education Statistics on Thursday. The study compared test scores from early 2020 to scores from early 2022, offering a first look at the academic impact of school closures and remote learning during the early stages of the pandemic.

While test scores decreased across the board, select demographics were disproportionately impacted and preexisting academic gaps along racial and socioeconomic lines were widened. Black and Hispanic students saw sharper drops in scoring than White students. Students with higher access to technology and resources during periods of remote learning recorded less-severe decreases in scoring. Students that were already underperforming before the pandemic fell drastically more in scoring than top-performing students.

The NCES expects to learn more regarding the pandemic’s effect on education when more comprehensive test results are published later this year.

The scores were reported mainly by left rated outlets, but got mild attention from the right. Most outlets attributed the score decrease only to lockdowns and remote learning, but CNN included a quote from Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which also attributed lower testing scores to mental health, school shootings, teacher shortages, and other preexisting problems exacerbated by the pandemic. 

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