COVID-related school closures cause DROP in reading, math test scores
10/25/2022 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Average test scores in reading and mathematics for 2022 saw a major drop, a repercussion of the school closures related to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – known as the Nation's Report Card – released Oct. 24 showed serious declines for fourth- and eighth-graders in both math and reading.

For math, the average score for fourth-graders decreased by five points (236) compared to 241 in 2019. Meanwhile, the average score for eighth-graders dropped by eight points (274) compared to 282 in 2019. "The average eighth-grade mathematics score was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2003," the NAEP stated.

Reading scores for both fourth- and eighth-graders also saw a decrease in 2022. "The average reading score decreased by three points compared to 2019," as per the NEAP. Fourth-grade reading scores dropped to 217 from the earlier 220, while eight-grade reading scores fell to 260 from the earlier 263.

This translated into serious problems for the nation's children. "Reading scores dropped to 1992 levels. Nearly four in 10 eighth-graders failed to grasp basic math concepts," the Associated Press (AP) reported. (Related: School pandemic shutdowns to blame for historic drop in mathematics and reading proficiency scores among American children.)

Moreover, the AP pointed out that "not a single state saw a notable improvement in average test scores." This was seconded by the NAEP results, which showed that states had no significant changes in average test scores – if not reporting a decline.


"Scores had been stalling before the pandemic, but the new results show decreases on a scale not seen before," the AP ultimately remarked.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), under the Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, administered the NAEP between January and March to hundreds of thousands of fourth- and eighth-graders.

The decline in average test scores coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns to purportedly curb the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the school setting and a shift to virtual learning. However, a heavy toll was extracted from students in the form of lower average test scores for math and reading.

Dismal NAEP results a "wake-up call"

NCES Commissioner Peggy Carr called the disappointing results "a serious wake-up call for us all."

She said in an interview: "In NAEP, when we experience a one- or two-point decline, we're talking about it as a significant impact on a student's achievement. In math, we experienced an eight-point decline – historic for this assessment."

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona reiterated that the dismal test score did not sit well with him. "Let me be very clear: These results are not acceptable," he said.

Just like Carr, the secretary commented that the scores were a sign that schools need to redouble their efforts, using federal funds given to schools.

Among all the major school districts, Cleveland saw the largest single drop. It reported a 16-point decline in fourth-grade reading and a 15-point decline in fourth-grade math.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon remarked: "This is more confirmation that the pandemic hit us really hard." He added that the school district has intensified its summer school program and added after-school tutoring.

"I'm not concerned that they can't or won't recover. I'm concerned that the country won't stay focused on getting kids caught up," said Gordon.

Carr ultimately pointed out that the NAEP results raise new questions about what will happen to students who appear to be far behind in their reading and math skills.

"We want our students to be prepared globally for STEM careers – science, technology, engineering [and] math. This puts all of that at risk," she said. "We have to do a reset. This is a very serious issue, and it's not going to go away on its own."

Watch this video that talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic erased 20 years' worth of progress in math and reading in American schools.

This video is from the alltheworldsastage channel on

More related stories:

America's public education COLLAPSING as 2018 student test scores the worst in history.

Thousands of elementary school teachers FLUNK basic math test… these are the morons teaching our children.

College entrance test scores collapse across America as dumbed-down liberal education system teaches "social justice" instead of thinking skills.

Sources include: 1 2

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