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The Nation’s Report Card

2023 Long-Term Trend (LTT) Age 13 Reading and Mathematics Highlights: “The nation’s 13-year-olds showed the largest declines ever recorded on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend assessment (LTT) in mathematics, according to results released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The average mathematics score for 13-year-olds declined 9 points between the 2019‒20 and 2022‒23 school years, and the average reading score declined 4 points over the same time period. “The ‘green shoots’ of academic recovery that we had hoped to see have not materialized, as we continue to see worrisome signs about student achievement and well-being more than two years after most students returned for in-person learning,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “There are signs of risk for a generation of learners in the data we are releasing today and have released over the past year. We are observing steep drops in achievement, troubling shifts in reading habits and other factors that affect achievement, and rising mental health challenges alongside alarming changes in school climate. The mathematics decline for 13-year-olds was the single largest decline we have observed in the past half a century. The mathematics score for the lowest-performing students has returned to levels last seen in the 1970s, and the reading score for our lowest-performing students was actually lower than it was the very first year these data were collected, in 1971.”… In reading, scores declined since 2019–20 for Black students, White students, and students of two or more races. Scores for Hispanic students, American Indian/Alaska Native students, and Asian students were not measurably different. Reading scores declined for 13-year-olds attending city, suburban, and rural schools, but were not measurably different for schools located in towns. Reading scores for students attending Catholic schools were not measurably different comparing 2019‒20 and 2022‒23…

Fewer Students ‘Reading for Fun’ “Reading for fun is strongly associated with higher achievement,” explained Commissioner Carr. “Yet fewer students, especially lower-performing students, are reading for fun compared to a decade ago. Aside from its academic effects, reading opens the mind and the heart to new ways of seeing and thinking about the world. Many of our young people will never discover latent passions or areas of interest without reading broadly on their own time.”

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