Reports of Student Scores Post Pandemic

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It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on students, with reports from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showing that scores have decreased in math and reading.

Although Arizona students have fared better overall than most states, their scores are still among the lowest in the country. Here to talk about what these scores mean is David Lujan, President and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance.

What is the NAEP?

“It’s the National Assessment of Education Progress, and it’s a national test. It’s given to students in 4th, 8th and 12th grade every two years to measure how they’re doing in reading, in math, science and it’s given not to all students, but a sampling of students in every state,” Lujan said.

In reading and math, numbers have declined. The last test was in 2019, before the pandemic.

“What the test scores show is that these scores suffered because of the last two years where students have been out of the classroom and had remote learning opportunities. It’s been a challenge for kids to learn and I think that’s being reflected in these test scores, which are showing across the board in the nation in reading and math that scores have really dropped back in the last two years,” Lujan said.

Arizona’s scores have been below the national average since the NAEP began, however Arizona scores did not drop as much over the last two years compared nationally. Arizona is still 29th in the country for 4th grade reading proficiency, according to Lujan.

Why is this Happening?

“Arizona has done a lot over the last few years to focus on 4th grade reading in particular. We passed Move on When Reading legislation about a decade ago, and put some money into early literacy,” Lujan said.

However, these efforts are not being shown in the results.

The focus should be more set on early childhood education in order to see a real change, Lujan said.

David Lujan, President and CEO of Children's Action Alliance

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