National test results show America’s 9-year-olds have fallen two decades behind in math and reading

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - The foundation of literacy formed in the third and fourth grade school years, has been said to help predict a child’s success later in life.

After results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress were released Thursday, showing that America’s 9-year-olds have fallen back to levels of two decades ago in math and reading, the government and school districts have made plans to help students get caught up.

“Because that predicts how they’ll perform later, we want to make sure as many of our third grade readers have those foundational skills to help them be successful beyond just third grade year,” said Dr. Caity Stockstell, the Director of Teaching and Learning at the School City of Mishawaka.

Local school districts in Indiana told 16 News Now that they have supplied students with many ways to get back on track.

“Such as extended learning opportunities, differentiated instruction in their classroom, but also accelerated learning opportunities,” said Brandon White, the Assistant Superintendent of Academics at the South Bend Community School Corporation.

White also added that parents play a crucial role in helping students.

“I think being engaged in your child’s education, asking questions, asking your child’s teacher what is it I can do at home to help them,” White said. “Reading 20 minutes with your child each and every night is a true important piece, or listening to them read, but just engaging in again, conversations about learning are highly important.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 70% of inmates in America’s prisons can not read above a fourth grade level, showing how important a strong foundation of literacy is.

“It’s a critical year, we know for academics, but it has ramifications beyond the classrooms in schools,” Dr. Stockstell.

On a National level, the government has budgeted $122 billion dollars toward helping students recover, and in Indiana, the state partnered with the Lilly Endowment.

“One of the things that we’re doing is lifting off our microgrants program, where families that have students that have experienced a significant impact. They have the opportunity to receive high end dosage tutoring in those areas to continue to support their needs,” said Dr. Charity Flores, the Chief Academic Officer for the Indiana Department of Education.

School districts encourage families to reach out to superintendents and leaders to learn about options available to your student, to get them back on track academically.