In August, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released its 2022 report card on 9-year-old students that showed the largest drop in reading since 1990 and the first ever drop in math since NAEP testing began in the 1970s. While the 2022 report cards for 13-year-old students and 17-year-old students are forthcoming, they will likely show similar deficits in academic progress.
A New York Times article about the NAEP report titled “The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading,” reignited debates about pandemic learning loss—discussions which were further fueled by a report from ACT released last week. The ACT report revealed that the high school Class of 2022 had the lowest composite ACT scores in 30 years, with forty-two percent of test takers failing to meet any benchmarks for the subjects of English, math, science, and reading.
As an education company that has seen multiple massive overhauls in the education and test preparation industries since we started in 2001, Academic Approach takes a tempered, big-picture, research-driven approach when considering industry trends or viral articles. Are the NAEP and ACT reports reason to panic? No.
However, these reports do reinforce something we’ve seen in both our data on individual student progress and school-wide testing data: achievement is down. Students in the past two years are simply entering at lower scores and growing more slowly.
What does this suggest?
Interrupted learning means that—in many cases—less academic material has been covered and less personalization of instruction has taken place. Therefore, the need for supplementing education has intensified. Unlearned or partially learned skills in one year won’t disappear the following year. The list simply grows, and it needs to be addressed.
The NAEP report highlights this reality. Students across the board have lost ground. When looking at students in the 90th percentile, the data show a 2-point drop in Reading and a 3-point drop in Math; students in the 10th percentile register a 10-point drop in Reading and a 12-point drop in Math. The overall concern is that once a student falls behind at any level, it becomes harder and harder to catch up.
FUTURE ACADEMIC POTENTIAL
What does this mean for your student? It’s always been important— but perhaps more so than ever—to properly assess how well students have mastered essential college readiness skills. Parents can help by talking with teachers, gathering feedback from quizzes and tests, and observing students’ academic behaviors and mindsets.
Try to get granular in your understanding of the specific skills your student needs to master.
If you’re not sure where to start, contact us. We’ll help you assess your student by taking the following steps:
- Administer a practice test (high school entrance exam, ACT, PSAT, or SAT) that covers essential reading, grammar, and math skills
- Provide you with a complimentary consultation to analyze your student’s results
- Perform a quantitative analysis (score-driven, skills-driven) as well as a qualitative analysis (identifying your student’s learning style and personalized needs)
- Help you determine the type and timing of any supplement needed to address your student’s learning needs and help your student maximize their learning potential
Understanding your student’s current academic performance is the crucial first step in helping your student make up for any learning loss and reach their full academic potential. We expect more data on learning loss to continue to illuminate the challenges students are facing and may continue to face in the coming years. Academic Approach is ready to meet these challenges and is here to help.
For more information, visit academicapproach.com/sheridanroad or call 847-750-4919.