New data shows pandemic-driven school closures caused plummeting reading scores and the largest decline in math scores in history.
The findings, which come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — often called “The Nation’s Report Card” — which is conducted by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
The assessment shows declines for fourth and eighth graders in both reading and math from before the pandemic in 2019 — the last time the report was published.
On average, math scores for fourth grade were five points lower than in 2019, while the eighth grade saw an eight-point decline from its 2019 numbers.
Reading for fourth and eighth graders was down three points compared to 2019.
Not a single state or region improved in math or reading scores at either grade level.
These numbers come nearly two months after the national assessment showed the largest learning loss in 30 years, as Breitbart News reported.
The dismal education numbers are connected to pandemic protocols followed by mostly Democrat-run school districts and advocated for by government officials, despite having little-to-no evidence to support the policies.
“This plunge in academic outcomes was predictable because people in positions of power allowed teachers unions and other fear mongering influencers to put children last,” Parents Defending Education Director of Outreach Erika Sanzi said. “We knew prolonged school closures and masking would have catastrophic effects on children. And now we have more evidence that they did.”
Despite that, the NAEP insists that “these results cannot be used to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the characteristics or experiences and student achievement.”
“I want to be very clear: The results in today’s nation’s report card are appalling and unacceptable,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in response to the numbers. “This is a moment of truth for education. How we respond to this will determine not only our recovery, but our nation’s standing in the world.”
Cardona also told CNN, “If this is not a wake-up call for us to double down our efforts and improve education, even before it was – before the pandemic, then I don’t know what will.”
“It is *literally* Secretary Cardona’s job to facilitate a successful education system – and on his watch, our children have withered on the vine,” PDE Founder and President Nicole Neily said in response to Cardona. “It is little wonder, given that this Department of Education has chosen to collude with activists and union leaders to keep schools shut, inject race and gender into lessons at the expense of core curriculum, and exclude parents from their children’s schooling?”
“American students were the subject of a years-long social experiment that will impact our country’s economy for decades to come,” Neily concluded. “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.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.