Oct 26, 2022 - News

Iowa's test scores for 4th and 8th graders decline across the board

Average scores on the NAEP in Iowa
Data: The Nation's Report Card; Chart: Axios Visuals

Test scores released Monday as part of the Nation's Report Card, show the largest math declines ever recorded for fourth- and eighth-graders in the U.S.

Why it matters: The drop confirmed fears from school leaders, parents and state officials across the country that the pandemic has set back a generation of students, especially Black and Latino students.

  • Reading scores dropped to 1992 levels nationally, and nearly 4 in 10 eighth graders failed to understand basic math.

Zoom in: Though Iowa's scores declined, students still performed better than the majority of the country and "no significant change" was found for 4th grade math and reading between 2019 and 2022.

  • For 4th grade, Iowa ranks 7th in math, 15th reading. For 8th grade the state ranks 15th in math and 20th in reading.

What they're saying: Gov. Kim Reynolds' released a statement following the results, contributing Iowa's ranking to her decision to open schools early-on in the pandemic.

  • "While we still have work to do to improve educational performance in Iowa, our students are ahead of their peers across the country because we kept our schools open and gave parents the choice of what was best for their children," she said.
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