Ex-education official: Pandemic left traumatic impact on schools

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(NewsNation) — Math and reading scores fell significantly for 9-year-olds during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping to levels not seen in decades.

In 2022 the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Education Department, issued National Assessment of Educational Progress tests to 9-year-old students to examine their achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Results were startling: the average scores for students declined by 5 points in reading and 7 points in math compared to 2020. The reading score hasn’t seen such a large decline since 1990, while the math score saw its first-ever decline, according to the center.

This study comes after two years of upheaval in American schools that had to shut down for months at a time because of COVID-19 outbreaks. Students spent much time over this period learning from home, and virus disruptions didn’t let up, even after kids went back to the classroom.

In wake of the new statistics, Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, said the pandemic has had a lasting impact on schools across the country.

Along with learning loss, Vallas said “there’s also been a record increase in violence against children, also violent acts committed by children. So COVID clearly had a traumatic impact on Chicago Public Schools, and I think it’s obvious the impact has been seen nationwide.”

In the video above, Vallas shares how long he thinks it will take for schools to rebound from the pandemic.

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