NAEP Before and After COVID

by John Butcher

We’ve been hearing about the post-COVID declines in scores on the National Assessment of Educational Process (NAEP) tests. The NAEP database offers some (in fact, an abundance of) details.

Here, as a small sample, are the 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics data for the nation and Virginia.

First, reading:

As to the fourth grade, it looks like the deterioration started in 2019 or perhaps even 2017. In any case, Virginia has lost its bragging rights vis-à-vis the national averages. The 2022 averages obliterate the gains since the 2002-2003 4th grade and the 1998 8th grade numbers.

Turning to the mathematics data:

Looking for something good to say: these 2022 data are not quite as ugly as the reading numbers. Beyond that, notice that the Virginia NAEP results do not show any effect from the math SOL scoring boost in 2019.

OK, Secretary Guidera. The ball is in your court. For sure, the Board of “Education” has demonstrated that it does not know how to improve the numbers except by making the tests and/or grading easier.

John Butcher is a retired attorney living in the Richmond area. This column has been reprinted with permission from Cranky’s Blog.