NAEP Shows a Decrease In Knowledge Since The Pandemic

NAEP Shows a Decrease In Knowledge Since The Pandemic

By Audrey Hinchman and Kaitlyn Nussbaum

The coronavirus may be affecting fewer people’s health, but the academic effects of the pandemic are still apparent in the nation’s students.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a national scorecard of student learning and shows that our knowledge has decreased since the pandemic. Only a third of New Jersey’s eighth  graders, who took the NJSLA, were proficient in math, compared to 26% worldwide. Out of 500, scores dropped from 292 from 2019 to 281 in 2022. Due to conflicts, students’ test results have been changing since previous assessment years. 

The results from NAEP are referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card” which compares samples of students from each state. The results from this program are important because the exams offer a snapshot of how students in Garden State performed in math and reading after the start of the pandemic. Despite overall scores compared to the pandemic, New Jersey’s scores show consistent disparities between poor and rich students.

When asked how she felt about math scares going down, a Math Teacher from Wayne Hills, Amanda Morgan, said, “It’s to be expected since we are still trying to recover from hybrid learning but I do see improvement.”

Reading scores in New Jersey proved to remain stable during the pandemic, however among 30 states saw a decline in scores. Math scores also dropped for fourth graders too. The U.S Secretary of Education said the scores are, “Appalling, unacceptable, and a reminder of the impact this pandemic has had on us.” Will we ever fully recover? Now that we are back in school full time, teachers are hoping scores will go back up.

The pandemic has not only affected our lives and communities but also our academic skills and knowledge. From not being able to come into school because of the pandemic, kids lost some of their educational knowledge and have been doing worse on test scores. How important are those tests though? Do we really need them to determine how children are?