Nation Bulletin: Assessment of long-term trends shows reading decline

For the first time since the 1970s, the reading and math scores of 13-year-olds fell.

For the first time in the nearly 50-year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trend Assessment (LTT), 13-year-old students’ reading and math scores have increased. fall.

Between 2012 and 2020, the average reading score for 13-year-old students was three points lower than in 2012, according to a report released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The average score of 9-year-olds showed no significant difference compared to 2012.

The results are particularly unfortunate news, given that the students were assessed before the pandemic disruption, which is said to have caused a loss of learning. The LTT assessment was administered to 13-year-old children between October and December 2019, and to 9-year-old children between January and March 2020.

The percentages of 9-year-old and 13-year-old children who said they “never or hardly ever” read for pleasure have increased significantly since 1984, when the question was first asked, with 16% of 9-year-olds (up from 9 percent in 1984) and 29 percent of 13-year-olds (up from 8 percent) now reporting that they rarely, if ever, read for fun.

The LTT is intended to provide a more expansive perspective over time, with trend lines dating back to the 1970s. Unlike the main NAEP, which is administered to grade 4, 8, and 12 students, the LTT assessments are administered to students sampled by age. LTT assessments are typically administered at age 17 from March through May, but have been postponed by the pandemic.

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