Reading Scores Decline Compared To Pre-Pandemic Scores
According to nationsreportcard.gov, this year, the average reading score at both fourth and eighth grade decreased by 3 points compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic scores). At fourth grade, the average reading score was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2005 and was not significantly different in comparison to 1992. At eighth grade, the average reading score was lower compared to all previous assessment years going back to 1998 and was not significantly different compared to 1992. In 2022, fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores declined for most states/jurisdictions compared to 2019. Average scores are reported on NAEP reading scales at grades 4 and 8 that range from 0 to 500.
Between January and March 2022, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment was administered to representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade students in the nation. Results for the nation reflect the performance of students attending public schools, private schools, Bureau of Indian Education schools, and Department of Defense schools.
In 2022, average reading scores at fourth grade declined in all four census-defined regions of the country—Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Scores were lower by 5, 3, 3, and 2 points, respectively, compared to 2019. This is the largest number of states/jurisdictions with score declines in fourth-grade reading going back to the initial assessment in 1992.
In 2022, average eighth-grade reading scores declined in the Northeast (2 points), Midwest (4 points), and South (3 points) compared to 2019. The number of states with score declines in 2022 is the largest dating back to the 1998 assessment.
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