Student’s U.S. history and civics test scores tanked following the COVID-19 pandemic where schools shut down in-person instruction, forcing students to learn remotely, according to a Wednesday report
In 2022, just 13% of eighth graders’ tested proficiently in U.S. history while civics test scores saw their first ever drop in the subject area, according to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” From the start of the pandemic in March 2020, many students did not receive in-person learning for more than 18 months, while the CDC promoted in-person instruction as safe in February 2021, Pew Research reported. (RELATED: POLL: 68% Of Americans Without Children Worry Kids Are Falling Behind In Schools Due To COVID-19)
“For U.S. history, I was very, very concerned,” Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, told the 74 Million, an education-focused outlet. “It’s a decline that started in 2014, long before we even thought about COVID. This is a decline that’s been [going] down for a while.”
To test proficient in U.S. history, students must explain major turning points, people and ideas in the country’s past, the report said. Only about 20% of eighth grade students passed the 2022 civics and U.S. history test.
Test scores in both areas, U.S. History and civics, fell back in line with scores from the 1990s, when the scores were first tracked.
Around a fifth of eighth graders tested proficient in civics in 2022 while nearly 31% of eighth grade civics students performed below standard levels, according to the Nation’s Report Card.
From 2020 to 2022, reading levels in K-12 schools reverted back to scores last seen in the 1990s, which is the largest drop in reading scores on record, according to the Nation’s Report Card. The country also saw its first ever decline in math scores from 2020-2022.
Every state has seen a decline in its math scores since 2019, with fourth and eighth graders recording the most significant drops. School districts who remained remote during the COVID-19 pandemic instead of returning to in-person learning, suffered the largest learning losses.
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