National test scores released Monday provide damning new evidence that America’s students are paying the price for the government’s COVID-19 school closures.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress was administered to a sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students in every state between January and March. Students last took the test in 2019.
Nationally, math scores saw the largest decrease on record while reading scores dropped to a 30-year low. No states saw any improvements.
“In NAEP, when we experience a 1- or 2-point decline, we’re talking about it as a significant impact on a student’s achievement. In math, we experienced an 8-point decline — historic for this assessment,” Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, told the Associated Press.
In Minnesota, fourth-grade math scores dropped by nine points, from 248 to 239. Eighth-grade math scores plummeted from 291 to 280, an 11-point dip.
Reading scores dropped by seven points among fourth-graders and four points among eighth-graders.
“Today’s test scores demonstrate the current leadership in education is failing kids. Minnesota students’ reading scores dropped below Mississippi, despite record state funding and billions in federal COVID dollars in Minnesota. And while Minnesota students were locked out of schools last year, Florida schools re-opened and saw no significant decline in their students’ reading scores,” said Sen. Roger Chamberlain, chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Minnesota’s scores are the lowest they have been in decades, and in some cases ever, according to the Center of the American Experiment.
State test results released in August found that nearly half of all students cannot read at grade level while less than half are proficient in math. Earlier this month, it was reported that Minnesota’s average ACT score dropped to its lowest point in a decade.
“Today’s data reveals what we’ve known for some time: Gov. Walz and Democrats’ crushing school closures during the pandemic had historically harmful impacts for Minnesota students,” Reps. Ron Kresha and Sondra Erickson said in a joint statement.
“While schools in other states and around the world remained open during the pandemic, in Minnesota, the governor and his allies in the legislature pushed aside the pleas of parents and students and instead placed the priorities of the teachers’ union and special interests above those of our youngest learners.”