October 24, 2022

NAEP Scores Confirm Pandemic Learning Loss, Need for Teacher-Led Change in LA

October 24 (Los Angeles) – Today, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released the first comprehensive look at student learning in districts and states across the country since 2019—an utterly different time in American public schooling. Los Angeles Unified teachers and students achieved the best overall results among the 25 largest districts in the country that were evaluated — either improving or staying level with 2019 scores. 

The greatest break from the national trend was in eighth-grade reading, where scores improved by nine points since 2019 compared to a three-point decline nationally. In fourth-grade reading, students in LA improved by two points since 2019, while the national average declined by three points. Fourth-grade math scores saw a four-point decline and eighth-grade math scores saw a moderate bump of two points.

Black and Hispanic students, and English learners, stayed level with 2019 scores in almost every category, with the notable exception of a seven-point drop for Hispanic students in fourth-grade math. While it is an achievement that LA students didn’t suffer the same kind of disastrous setbacks seen in other cities, the majority of students were not proficient before distance learning and that remains true today. 

“Los Angeles’ teachers are in the best position to create the policies we need to address the devastating effects the pandemic had on our students,” said Sarina Sande, Executive Director, Educators for Excellence-Los Angeles. “Our priority is to eliminate long-standing inequities in LA’s schools that put marginalized students at greater risk to fall behind during the past two and a half years. If we are going to fix what’s broken, teachers should be empowered to guide us forward.”

The work of teachers in LA during an incomparable period of challenges is exemplary and further validates the need for teacher-led change. This is why Educators for Excellence-Los Angeles examined the thousands of conversations we have had with teachers, dug into the data from our polls and surveys, and held focus groups with diverse sets of teacher leaders across the district to develop a clear set of priorities that Los Angeles educators believe are critical to not only recover from the impacts of this pandemic but to ensure we don’t return to a system that was already rife with inequity. This includes a particular focus on the need for holistic assessments in order to better understand our students’ needs, because the status quo did not serve our students pre-pandemic, and it won’t serve our students now. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought America’s public schools into crisis. Innovation, with teachers at the forefront, must bring them out.

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NAEP Scores Confirm Pandemic Learning Loss, Need for Teacher-Led Change in LA