Massachusetts

Mass. Students See Slipping Marks on National Exams

Education leaders expressed concern about learning loss from the pandemic, and a growing gap facing Black and Latino students, low-income students and students learning English, according to The Boston Globe

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Results released Monday from a national set of reading and math exams given to fourth and eighth graders show a concerning drop in student achievement in Massachusetts, according to The Boston Globe.

Across the four tests, Massachusetts returned scores that were the lowest since at least 2003, the Globe reports, while Boston saw its lowest marks since at least 2011 in the four exams.

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The results come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Education leaders expressed concern about learning loss from the pandemic, and a growing gap facing Black and Latino students, low-income students and students learning English, according to the Globe.

"We have to acknowledge what the data is showing us, call it out, and be extremely intentional about ensuring our Black and brown students are receiving the supports that they need," Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper told the Globe. "There is a deep sense of urgency around this work, and we’ll be working to identify and remove the barriers our Black and brown students continue to face. We have to get this right and address these gaps."

The Bay State, which is known for its historically strong public schools, was knocked down from the top spot in two of the exams — fourth grade math and eighth grade reading.

However, Massachusetts still leads the nation on two of the tests - fourth grade reading and eighth grade math. Massachusetts also ranked first in the nation when all four scores are averaged together overall.

"Massachusetts once again leads the nation in overall NAEP scores, showing the strength of our education system, despite the challenges of the past few years,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a news release. “While students continue to perform well compared to other states, we know that the impacts of the pandemic continue to present challenges. Our Administration has made significant investments to help bridge learning gaps from the pandemic, and we remain committed to making sure every student can succeed."

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