COVID and the tragic NAEP scores: 4th grade Math (part 1 of 2)

There’s no sugarcoating it, the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores released earlier this week were awful. But, New Mexico was not alone in seeing big drops. COVID seems to have caused drops across the board. The question is whether those scores were affected by students being locked out of classrooms and to what extent.

There is far too much data in NAEP to correlate everyone on all four tests, but I think 4th grade reading and math are a good place to start. We’ll tackle 4th grade reading tomorrow.

We’re using Burbio’s school tracking website for time lost in the classroom.

Using 4th grade math data, there are 5 states  that saw double-digit losses: Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia. Sadly, DC was included in NAEP but not Burbio.

In terms of time lost in school, DE lost 13th most, Maryland 3rd, New Mexico 6th, New York 18th, and Virginia 7th. (average lost school time rank  9.4) meaning these states lost among the most time in the nation.
In terms of the LEAST loss performance on NAEP students in Wisconsin and Iowa lost one point each. Hawaii, South Dakota, and Nebraska lost two points. No state measured lost Zero.

In terms of lost time in school, WI and IA ranked 15th and 34th while HI ranked 5th, SD 46th, and Nebraska 44th.  (average lost school time rank 28.8).

While these data highlight the fact that there is indeed a correlation between lost classroom time and a drop in NAEP test scores, it would be interesting to see how Hawaii managed to do so well with 4 grade math in remote learning despite losing a great deal of class time.

Strategies for Teaching Math in Remote/Hybrid Learning Environments