Reading, math skills plummeting among American children

A recent report from the National Assessment for Educational Progress shows American reading and math acuity for 13-year-olds is at its lowest point in over a decade.

Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Nicholas Giordano argues that the public education system has failed to provide a robust education.

A recent report shows that reading and math scores among American 13-year-olds are rapidly declining.

The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) recently issued a report assessing American academic acuity with unfortunate results: since 2020, reading and mathematics scores among 13-year-olds dropped sharply by 4 and 9 points, respectively.

Trend in NAEP long-term trend reading and mathematics average scores for 13-year-old students,

American test scores in this category have been gradually declining since 2012, but in the last several years, they have hit a nosedive.

The report also noted that “in mathematics, scores declined compared to 2020 for most student groups,” and reading scores dropped in “many” groups.

Among those student groups, the NAEP examined and compared various ethnicities, school types, locations, and grades.

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The assessment performance parallels the participants’ survey responses, in which the NAEP determined that literacy and school participation have dropped. 31% of students do not read for fun at all, up from 22% in 2012. Meanwhile, only 14% read “almost every day”, down from 27%.

When asked how many days of school they missed, 15% of students responded “three or four” and 10% responded “five or more,” a figure that has doubled since 2020.

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Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Nicholas Giordano argues that, in addition to the push for online classrooms proving to be foolish, America’s declining academic performance signifies a broken public education system that churns out graduates at the expense of enriching, holistic academics.

“All we’ve done is create a system where we cycle students through so that they get the piece of paper, and this is something that has a critical effect on our nation that we cannot survive,” Giordano said in an interview with Martha MacCallum. “We need a robust public education system.”