Math and Reading Test Scores Drop


Ava Kahn

Math and reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress of 2022 have had the steepest decline ever recorded. This test is often referred to as the nation’s report card. It sampled around 450,000 fourth and eighth graders from more than 10,000 schools. The test indicated that during the COVID pandemic, students were not able to get the education they needed due to school closures. Online work and audio-video calls proved to be noneffective in continuing the education of math and reading.

Math scores, in particular, decreased greatly. The math portion tests a student’s problem-solving abilities. There was an eight percent drop in the amount of eighth graders that had proficient math scores, and a four percent drop occurred for fourth graders. Eighth grade math scores are especially concerning due to the foundational skills of algebra and geometry learned in 8th grade that are needed for high school and future math courses. 

Two out of three children did not meet the standards for reading proficiency. The reading portion tests ability to read literature and academic texts. The average eighth grade reading score declined in half of the states compared to the last time the test was administered in 2017. Fourth grade reading scores declined in 17 states by two percent. Reading scores are particularly low due for low-income students who did not have the right technology or an adult to assist them.

Last year, the federal government made its largest investment in American schools, $123 billion. School districts were required to spend twenty percent on academic recovery from the pandemic. Some research suggests that it could take billions of more dollars and a lot more time for schools and districts to properly recover.