October 24 (Chicago) - 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.
In Chicago, math scores in both fourth and eighth grade declined more than ten points, outpacing the national decline and Illinois’ decline and erasing a decade of progress in math in the city. Declines were particularly steep for Black and Hispanic fourth graders, bringing the disparity between math scores for Black and white fourth graders to more than 40 points.
Reading scores dipped slightly in Chicago but were not statistically different from scores in 2019. Though this lack of decline amidst significant challenges is worth celebrating, only 22 percent of Chicago fourth graders and 21 percent of eighth graders scored proficient in reading, indicating there is still much work to be done.
“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, they 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 in Chicago, and across the country, informed by the voices of educators. This is why Educators for Excellence-Chicago seeks to uplift teacher voice through its work on the ground in schools and with teachers to improve the systems that support high-quality teaching and ensure educators have the resources and support to be effective.
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.
For more information, please visit e4e.org.