U.S. Department of Education releases 2020 National Assessment of Educational Progress

National report card saw U.S. reading, math scores are down after pandemic

In the wake of the COVID-19 virus, the United States has seen its reading and math scores decrease.

Many schools have resorted to closed classes, and some parents have stopped sending their children to classrooms at all.

“I don’t think it’s the end of the world to learn to read, but I do think it was a good idea to do a number on everyone and make a statement,” said John Lally, who teaches at the Lake Travis Independent School District in Texas.

“It’s a big, big problem,” Lally said. “It’s not the end of the world, but it is a setback.”

The U.S. Department of Education released the 2020 National Assessment of Educational Progress results for the first time this week. The government agency said students continued to make slow progress on the tests and the results will be used for an analysis that will help policymakers prepare for potential educational consequences of the pandemic.

In the 2017-18 school year, reading scores increased for the third straight year and third-grade math scores increased a full point higher than in the previous year.

The report also showed that, when students begin preschool, their scores have not recovered in the years since the crisis began.

The government agency said the country continued to make modest progress in the skills that matter most to students. But it said there are “significant gaps” in the math skills of some minority children and low-income and elementary school students.

Overall, 27 percent of U.S. students met or exceeded standards. But the U.S. still lagged behind on high school graduation, and math was the only academic area showing a steep decline.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement that the results are “a good barometer of our kids’ performance” as the country returns to a school year.


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