NYS 4th graders have seen test scores plummet during the pandemic

Fourth-graders in New York have lost twice as much ground in math and reading as their peers nationally during the pandemic and wasted the equivalent of nearly a year of schooling during the virtual learning.

The staggering setbacks — which exceeded the educational losses seen in 45 other states in math and 38 other states in reading — occurred among students of all races and income levels, according to an analysis of federal data released Monday by the Comptroller of state Tom DiNapoli.

Fourth-graders in New York saw their average National Education Progress Assessment math scores drop 10% between 2019 and 2022, compared to an average drop of 5% in national scale. According to the report, reading scores for fourth-graders at the Empire State fell 6%, double the national decline of 3%.

The fall was most pronounced among Asian and Pacific Islander students, who saw their math skills drop by 14 points. White, Hispanic and Black students saw their performance drop by eight, six and three points, respectively, but the achievement gaps between races remained constant, according to the report.

The drop in fourth-grade test scores was twice as steep as the national average

A graph illustrating the declines
New York City fourth-graders in almost every demographic group saw their math scores drop after the pandemic.

A graph showing declines by breed
Students from Asia and the Pacific Islands, the top performers, experienced the steepest drop.

Girls across the state saw their math test scores drop twice as much as boys, and only 33% of New York boys and 23% of girls were deemed “proficient” in math by 2022, losses so pronounced that the state fell from 40th to 46th nationally in test score rankings.

The NAEP assessment is administered every two years to 4th, 8th and 12th graders and is known as the “national report card” because it is the only measure that allows direct comparisons between all 50 states, DiNapoli said. .

New York was the earliest and hardest hit state by COVID-19, and many districts offered hybrid or all-virtual instruction in the 2020-2021 school year when other states resumed. in-person learning, the comptroller noted.

In the 49 weeks students across the state learned remotely, they only absorbed the equivalent of 19 weeks of schooling — marking a loss of 30 weeks of classroom time that was twice the national average , according to McKinsey and Company, a consulting firm that analyzes educational data.

“The disruptions in classrooms caused by the pandemic have hurt students in New York. Academic losses were greater for younger students, with fourth grade scores dropping more than the national average,” DiNapoli said.

Albany’s fund manager urged districts to manage their share of the $14 billion in federal elementary and secondary school aid funds the state has received to help at-risk students before it expires next year . Data from the comptroller’s office indicates that only 40% of the money has been spent so far.

“School districts must act quickly to take full advantage of available resources to help students who need it most catch up, before the clock is up,” he said.

The report offered some bright notes. Eighth-grade reading scores held steady in New York City, though they fell 3% nationally, and students with disabilities actually gained slightly on fourth-grade math tests.

At the start of the pandemic, McKinsey and Company predicted that students would lose 12 months of study if remote learning continued through 2021. Instead, students lost the equivalent of 7.5 months . However, the company has warned that it could take New York students “decades” to return to pre-pandemic performance levels.

New York Post

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