Collaborative Director Jim Cowen – Statement on NAEP 2022 Long-Term Trend Results

WASHINGTON, Sept. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jim Cowen, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, published the statement below in response to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trend results for 9-year-olds. 

Findings released today from the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress Long-Term Trend (LTT) Results for 9-year-olds provide an important yet sobering snapshot of missed learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Average scores for 9-year-olds in 2022 declined five points in reading and seven points in math compared to 2020 when students participated in the assessment before the emergence of the pandemic. This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first-ever such decline in math since the assessments started in the 1970s. The results also show the achievement gap in math between Black and White students widened to 33 points from 25 points in 2020.

These numbers are particularly bleak in light of claims some have made about student achievement bouncing back to, or close to, pre-pandemic levels. While we certainly respect and encourage the reporting of progress on education recovery, we also believe parents and families deserve the truth about how their children are faring. The LTT results remind us to be vigilant about closing the honesty gaps between NAEP scores and state-reported proficiency rates. This includes exercising caution when claiming students are on the rebound when we know the road to recovery is long and just getting started.

Looking ahead, investments in academic recovery and acceleration, mental and physical health, and high-quality curricular resources and professional learning are the best chance we have to ensure all students are emerging from the pandemic stronger. The $189 billion in federal recovery funds being distributed for education relief is a good first step to jumpstart important assistance to students, but we must not squander this opportunity. Districts and states should seize this moment to set up systems to track what’s working and adapt their recovery plans, if needed, so that they are executing practices with the most potential to help students succeed.

The Collaborative for Student Success worked with the Center on Reinventing Public Education and the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University to develop the EduRecoveryHub, which lifts up emerging practices by states and districts paid for with federal recovery funds that can be replicated elsewhere.

We in education also must continue to track the impact the extended closures and other pandemic-related disruptions have had on student progress -- particularly when it comes to monitoring the student performance of historically marginalized students such as students living in poverty, students of color, and students with disabilities -- so that we can ensure all students emerge from the pandemic stronger.

Only about a dozen states have thus far released spring 2022 state assessment score results. Among those, not all are indicating the participation rates or are breaking down results by demographics, limiting the value of that data. Regardless, we must continue to push for the most comprehensive data picture possible. This includes fresh and innovative thinking into new methods for capturing student progress. Such results are an important temperature check for teachers and parents on where students stand and an important tool to help states and districts distribute resources where they are needed most. While there are some bright spots, we are still seeing significant lags in student performance and an urgent need to get students back on track.

About the Collaborative for Student Success

The Collaborative for Student Success is a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to defend strong policies and practices to ensure that all kids are prepared for college or career. Through capacity-building efforts with in-state organizations and collaboration with national partners, we promote fact-based public discourse and fight to advance policies that promote best practices and ensure equitable outcomes for all students.


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