Texas test scores show steep declines in math


(NewsNation) — National test scores are showing significant learning loss for kids across the country, in some cases equivalent to a year of learning.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress test is given to fourth- and eighth-graders across the country, and this is the first time the test has been administered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Texas, math scores dipped significantly, while reading scores remained steady. Fourth-grade math scores dropped by 5 points and eighth-grade math scores fell by 7 points.

Thirty-eight percent of Texas fourth-graders were considered proficient in math, down from previous scores, and only 30 percent are proficient in reading.

Fewer than a quarter of Texas eighth-graders were considered proficient in math.

Texas has a history of low math scores, which have led some to call for changes in the way math is taught. Texas requires ‘Reading Academies” for kindergarten through third grade, but access to math academies is limited.

The test results reflect racial and economic disparities, with white and Asian students in Texas outperforming Black and Hispanic students.

Texas isn’t alone. Every single state showed learning loss with these latest results. More than 60 percent of fourth-graders and 70 percent of eighth-graders tested at “basic or below” in math.

But while distance learning was a controversial issue during the pandemic, researchers say there isn’t a clear link between remote learning and falling test scores.

Scores in California, for example, had similar declines to schools in Texas and Florida, even though California continued remote learning for an extended period of time while schools in Texas and Florida reopened more quickly.

In an effort to combat learning loss, some school districts have stepped up tutoring and summer school programs or extended learning hours in hopes of bringing performance back up.

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