The impact of the school closures forced on students will have an irreversible effect on the next generation. Keeping schools open didn't have a noticeable impact on COVID infections, while school closures have clearly had an effect on child development in crucial years. The Biden admin. overrode common practice at the command of intransigent teachers' unions, and students are now paying the price.
The latest NAEP data is concerning not only because of the decline in students' learning across the country but more specifically because of the downward trend that shows that achievement plummeted across race, class, and geography. This is further evidence of an ever-increasing racial gap in education that will take years of effort and investment to address.
The NAEP results are routinely trotted out to advance political agendas by people with little understanding of what they actually mean. NAEP standards are much more stringent than state and local standards, where the data is more meaningful. Half of the students at a "basic" NAEP level end up receiving a Bachelor's Degree, indicating it is not an accurate measure of competency. Any decline is bad news, but we ought to be skeptical of any apocalyptic messaging based on these numbers.
There's a 50% chance that the average NAEP long-term trend mathematics score for 9-year-old students in 2029 will be at least 241.3, according to the Metaculus prediction community.