Math and reading levels drop in the US during the pandemic

The Math level The reading performance of elementary school students in the United States has seen a dramatic drop during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially among the most vulnerable students, according to the results of a national test of 9-year-old children.

On a scale of 500, general reading scores fell from 220 to 215, the biggest drop since 1990, while math dropped from 241 to 234, according to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), conducted among 14,800 students, the first nationwide since the pandemic. According to the Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

As everywhere else in the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the US education system, with schools closed or only partially open and distance learning courses in place. Debates have erupted between Democrats and Republicans around the country over requiring children to wear masks in class.

Rapid deterioration

According to NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr, the decline in standards was already underway for low-performing students before the virus spread. “By 2020, long-term gains in reading began to be lost for the most struggling students.He wrote in a speech on the NCES website that a similar trajectory could be seen in mathematics before the pandemic.

The disruptions of COVID-19 may have exacerbated many of the challenges we already face. We know that students who struggle the most tend to fall further behind their peers“, she added. Thus, the most struggling students’ math scores went from 191 to 178, while the best performers lost only three points on the NCES scale (from 286 to 283). Among black students (250 to 244) more than white students (250 to 244). 1 to 212) results showed that the condition deteriorated rapidly.

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According to this survey, 70% of 9-year-old students surveyed had a distance school experience in 2020-2021. But the study still shows disparities according to student level: thus, 83% of successful students said they have a computer or tablet all the time, against 58% of less successful ones.


See more – High school: Emmanuel Macron first declared the return of mathematics “optional”.

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