Parent Leaders Rebuke ‘Teachers’ Unions’ and ‘Fear Mongering Influencers’ for National Assessment Results Exposing Unprecedented Losses During Pandemic

The director of outreach for Parents Defending Education says results published Monday from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that revealed significant declines in math and reading scores nationwide were “predictable because people in positions of power allowed teachers unions and other fear mongering influencers to put children last.”

“We knew prolonged school closures and masking would have catastrophic effects on children,” Erika Sanzi said. “And now we have more evidence that they did.”

Results of fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading achievement on the assessment also known as The Nation’s Report Card, showed a dramatic decline from 2019, when students were last tested, and 2022.

“A majority of states saw scores decline for fourth- and eighth-graders in mathematics and reading between 2019 and 2022,” NCES said in a press statement. “The national average score declines in mathematics for fourth- and eighth-graders were the largest ever recorded in that subject.”

NCES added:

There were no improvements in mathematics in any state or large urban district, and eighth-grade mathematics scores declined in 51 participating states and jurisdictions since the assessment was last given in 2019, the year prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Eighth-grade mathematics scores did not change in Utah or the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity schools.

“The results show the profound toll on student learning during the pandemic, as the size and scope of the declines are the largest ever in mathematics,” said National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “The results also underscore the importance of instruction and the role of schools in both students’ academic growth and their overall wellbeing. It’s clear we all need to come together—policymakers and community leaders at every level—as partners in helping our educators, children, and families succeed.”

Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, said the numbers from the NAEP 2022 assessments “prove that American parents’ concerns about their children’s education during the pandemic weren’t speculative – but in fact, perfectly valid.”

“American students were the subject of a years-long social experiment that will impact our country’s economy for decades to come,” Neily asserted. “It’s time to hold the education bureaucrats, activists, and public health officials who mocked, shamed, and derided families accountable for their decisions – and refuse to cede them any further authority (or funds) going forward.”

In comments during a parent roundtable about the devastating assessment results, Biden Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona touted the administration’s American Rescue Plan, whose funds, he said, “are a down payment on transformational change in education.”

“We need to maintain urgency – and we have to change the conversation from going back to what we had before the pandemic to doing better for our children,” Cardona added. “If we do what we’ve done, we’re going to get what we’ve gotten.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Students Taking a Test” by Andy Barbour.

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