It's been a whirlwind the last few years, giving families a lot of changes to manage. Researchers continue to study the impact of the pandemic, distance learning, etc. on our overall learning progress and we're seeing trends emerge.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is "...the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in select subjects." Every 2 years they publish the Nation's Report Card, showing both nationally and on a state level, how student achievement compares to previous years. The most recent data available is from 2019 and we look forward to the release of the 2021 report.
While still above the national average, Nebraska has cause for concern as the percentage of 8th grade students who demonstrated proficiency or advanced level skills in math in 2017 was 41% (see chart). That means over half our kids performed at a level below proficient in math. The number of students demonstrating proficiency or above dropped to 47% in 2019, before the pandemic even began. Scores are slightly better for 4th graders, but still lower in 2019 than in 2017.
As schools continue to work hard to help learners succed, now is a great time provide additional help for kids to achieve proficiency. Whether it's Mathnasium for math enrichment and help or some other resource. Together, we can close those gaps before they widen.