‘Nation’s Report Card’: Two Decades of Growth Wiped Out by Two Years of Pandemic

By Kevin Mahnken, The 74

Long-term scores from NAEP show unprecedented declines for nine-year-olds in math and generational literacy loss

Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released this morning.

Dismal releases from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — often referred to as the “nation’s report card” — have become a biannual tradition in recent years as academic progress first stalled, then eroded for both fourth and eighth graders. But today’s publication, tracking long-term academic trends for nine-year-olds from the 1970s to the present, includes the first federal assessment of how learning was affected by COVID-19.

This story was produced by The 74, a non-profit, independent news organization focused on education in America.