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NAEP scores show record drop in math for NYC’s fourth graders




On the national exam known as “the nation’s report card”, New York City’s scores show record drops in fourth grade math but steady scores in reading.

There have been frequent disruptions during the past few school years which have left parents and educators questioning how much New York City children have fallen behind academically during the pandemic.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provided a complicated answer to a random sampling of fourth and eighth graders. Math scores for the city’s fourth graders fell by a record 9 points compared with 2019, the last time the exam was administered, while the 4-point drop for eighth graders was not considered a significant change by researchers.

Fourth grade math scores on the exam known as the “nation’s report card” mirrored trends across the United States, showing historic drops in the subject. But results from the five boroughs did not line up with the national dip in reading scores.

Still, New York City’s scores on math and reading remained below national and New York state averages.

The pandemic worsened many of the inequities that already plagued the school system. It left students, families, and teachers dealing with multiple crises, including the deaths of loved ones, illness and long stretches of isolation. And even as campuses reopened last year, learning continued to be interrupted for many children. More than 40% of students were chronically absent last year, missing at least 18 days of school.

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