Mass. Test Scores Plummet To 19-Year Low After Pandemic Learning Loss

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A key national barometer of academic success shows children around the country have been slammed by the pandemic, including Massachusetts school kids.

The National Center for Education Statistics publishes its NAEP/Nation's Report Card analysis of the test scores every three years. The last report was in 2019, before the pandemic.

While Massachusetts schools still remained near or at the top of the nation in most categories, Massachusetts school kids in 4th and 8th grade hit their lowest scores in reading and math in at least 19 years.

Breaking the numbers down further, about 30% of Massachusetts 4th graders did not meet "basic" reading skills, the highest percentage since 1998. About 20% could not hit the benchmark of basic math skills, the highest rate since 2000. Basic 8th grade math and reading were also at their lowest points since the late 90's and early 2000's.

These, or worse results were mirrored nationally. Math scores saw their largest decline in 30 years, while reading scores hit their lowest point since 2003.

NCES Commissioner Peggy Carr said that the results “show the profound toll on student learning during the pandemic, as the size and scope of the declines are the largest ever in mathematics."

Notably, test scores in Massachusetts had begun declining years before the pandemic, between 2013 and 2015, but took a precipitous drop in the 2022 report.

WBZ's Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) reports:

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