By Lance Izumi & Wenyuan Wu
Recent national student test scores showed a massive decline in learning in reading and math. This achievement implosion has several explanations – one is the increasing politicization of classroom instruction, which is reducing rigor and diverting attention from improving students’ foundational knowledge and skills.
From 2020 to 2022, reading scores for nine-year-olds on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the nation’s report card, registered the largest decline since the 1990s, while math scores declined for the first time ever. These score comparisons were the first nationally representative snapshot of student learning during the pandemic.