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A new education report shows math and reading scores among students plummeting in the wake of the pandemic.

The latest data from the National Assessment of Education Progress – known as ‘the nation’s report card’ – had math scores dropping among 4th and 8th graders in nearly every state.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona called the results “appalling and unacceptable”.

He continued, “This is a moment of truth for education,” he said. “How we respond to this will determine not only our recovery, but our nation’s standing in the world.”

In 2022, the average 4th-grade math score decreased by 5 points, the lowest level since 2005. The average 8th-grade math score decreased by 8 points, the lowest level since 2003.

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Reading scores were also down in roughly half of the U.S.

Peggy Carr, commissioner for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which administers the Nation’s Report Card said,

“We really need the teachers to teach math,” she said. “Reading, on the other hand, is something that parents and communities are more comfortable helping students with.”

What can we do to reverse these trends? What are some of the most important lessons we can take from how schools handled the pandemic?