The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for 2022 were released Thursday, and by any standard they are a calamity. An unprecedented decline in reading and math scores is the first national measure of the damage done by school closures to America’s children.
The 2020 NAEP tests were administered shortly before pandemic lockdowns and school closures, so this year’s results provide a snapshot of how students have weathered those two years. It’s not pretty. Average nine-year-old scores declined the most on record in math (seven points) and in reading since 1990 (five points). Two decades of progress have been erased in two years.