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USA: Student achievement in math and reading plummeted due to Covid-19


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A quarter of 9-year-olds, and nearly 40% of 14-year-olds, have not mastered the basic maths concepts of their age group, statistics show.

The American students saw a big drop in their maths and reading performance after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted schooling for two years, according to a report released today by the Ministry of Education.

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), whose results were released today for the first time since 2019, measured the performance of students ages 9 to 14 in public schools. The data shows that their level in reading has fallen to that of 1992, while their level in maths has fallen to that of 2003.

A quarter of 9-year-old students, and almost 40% of 14-year-old students, have not mastered the basic mathematical concepts of their age group, the statistics show.

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“This is a moment of truth for education,” Education Minister Miguel Cardona told reporters, calling the exam results “sad and unacceptable.”

“How we react to this will determine not only our recovery but also our country’s place in the world,” he added.

Before the results were published, studies had shown that school closures due to Covid-19 had negatively affected student learning, particularly affecting low-income families and those from ethnic minorities.

Black and Hispanic 9-year-old students saw their math performance drop, compared to their white peers.

The pandemic has also worsened other pedagogical aspects, according to NCEP, the education ministry’s office responsible for statistics and the organization of these tests.

NCEP cites more mental health requests from students, but also more absenteeism, more school violence or even cyberbullying.

Schools are also experiencing teacher and staff shortages, NCEP reports.

Even before the pandemic, the gap between the best performers and the worst performers existed exacerbated by the health crisis.

In a chart posted on Twitter, economist Emily Oster points out that states that implemented the most distance learning during the 2020-2021 school year saw a greater drop in student math performance compared to states where distance learning it wasn’t that common.


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I am currently a news writer for News Bulletin247 where I mostly cover sports news. I have always been interested in writing and it is something I am very passionate about. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family and friends.

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