October 24, 2022

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

October 24 (New York) – 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. As anticipated based on smaller-scale analyses released since the beginning of the pandemic, the results are dire. 

After two decades of steady progress in math, this year’s NAEP scores mark the steepest decline recorded since the assessment was first administered in 1990, with scores dropping five points for fourth graders and eight points for eighth graders. Average scores this year were on par with the scores recorded in 2005, and scores fell in nearly every state across the country. In reading, the three point decline in both fourth and eighth grade was not as steep, but the decline brings scores on par with those of 2003. Reading scores fell in more than half of states.

The declines in fourth grade math and reading reflected widening gaps for students already facing inequities; Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students and students already struggling academically saw the largest declines. Female students saw steeper declines than male students on all four measures. 

“These results are not surprising, but they should shock us into action. Dire challenges require transformative solutions, guided by those closest to the ground. The nation’s teachers are intimately aware of the pandemic-related factors that have negatively impacted student learning over the past two and a half years,” said Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Educators for Excellence. “They are also intimately aware of the non-pandemic related factors that negatively impacted student learning for decades before that. And so, educators are best suited to guide us forward.”

The pandemic exacerbated longstanding problems in America’s public education system, and educators across the country know we cannot return to the status quo. Today’s NAEP results demand the attention of education leaders across the country, informed by the voices of educators. This is why Educators for Excellence seeks to uplift teacher voice through its annual Voices from the Classroom survey of educators, and through the work done on a daily basis to support teachers in using their voices to advocate for change in its six chapters.

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


About Educators for Excellence

Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of more than 33,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education. 

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