President Joe Biden’s Department of Education just released the 2022 “Nation’s Report Card” for 9-year-olds, and this cohort of mostly fourth graders suffered unprecedented declines in reading and math.
In the second year of Biden’s presidency, their average reading score is 215, a five-point drop from the 220 in 2020, the last year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Since roughly 12 points on the “Nation’s Report Card” equals one year of academic progress, this five-point decline represents a severe loss of almost a half-year.
Moreover, the average reading score of 9-year-olds has fallen significantly only one other time since 1990, when it was 209, and three points lower than the 212 in 1988. (But the score in 1992, the last year of President George H.W. Bush’s one-term presidency, improved to 211).
By contrast, the largest increases in reading scores for this cohort, during 10 presidencies in the last half-century, occurred during George W. Bush’s administration between Jan. 2001 and Jan. 2009.
His landmark, bipartisan educational initiative, “No Child Left Behind,” was passed by Congress in Dec. 2001, and the law requires annual testing in math and reading for public-school students in grades 3 to 8.
In 2004, Bush’s reading score was four points higher at 216, than the 212 in 1999, the seventh year of Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Between 2004 and 2008, Bush’s reading score jumped another four points, from 216 to 220.
Thus, during Bush’s eight-year presidency, reading scores for 9-year-olds increased by a historic eight points.
President Biden’s seven-point decline in math scores, from 241 in 2020 to 234 in 2022, is even worse than his five-point drop in reading.
Tragically, this is the only statistically significant drop in math scores for 9-year-olds in the 14 exams since Richard Nixon’s presidency in 1973, when the score was 219.
By contrast, George W. Bush’s math score was 241 in 2004, a spectacular nine points higher than Clinton’s 232 in 1999.
And in 2008, Bush’s score increased two more points to 243. Thus, he oversaw a remarkable 11-point gain in math from 232 to 243, or nearly one year of learning.
A more granular examination of Joe Biden’s abhorrent losses in reading and math, reveals many other disturbing declines between 2020 and 2022.
Asian American 9-year-olds actually had a 1-point gain in reading, from 240 to 241; but a seven-point loss in math, from 266 to 259.
Black Americans in the same cohort had the biggest losses: 6 points in reading, from 205 to 199; and a mind-boggling 13 points in math, from 225 to 212.
White American 9-year-olds had 5-point loss in reading, from 228 to 223; and a 6-point loss in math, from 250 to 244.
Hispanic Americans in the same cohort had a 6-point loss in reading, from 210 to 204; and a 9-point loss in math, from 232 to 223.
Secondly, reading and math losses this year are more than twice as large among students at the 25th percentile, than those at the 75th percentile.
At the 75th percentile between 2020 and 2022, reading scores declined three points, from 247 to 244. Math scores dropped five points, from 267 to 262.
But at the 25th percentile, reading scores plunged eight points, from 196 to 188. Math scores plummeted 11 points, from 219 to 208.
Consequently, the achievement gaps, between American 9-year-olds at the 75th percentile and the 25th percentile, are currently an abominable 4.5 years in math and 4.7 years in reading.
In a recent interview with Fox News, Louisiana’s Republican Sen. John Kennedy, blasted White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for despicably scapegoating Republicans and former President Trump, for the Biden administration's egregious educational failures.
Sen. Kennedy further observed that “we probably lost 20 years of educational progress that we had made in our public schools.”
A recapitulation of the scores for the last five presidents proves his disturbing claim is almost entirely accurate.
Clinton’s reading score in 1999 was 212, and his math score was 232.
Bush’s reading score in 2008 was 220, and his math scores was 243.
Obama’s reading score in 2012 was 221, and his math score was 244. (These tests for 9-year-olds were, inexplicably, not conducted between 2013 and 2019.)
Trump’s reading score in 2020 was 220, and his math score was 241.
Biden's reading score in 2022 is 2015, and his math score is 234.
Therefore, Biden is just three points higher in reading and two points higher in math, than Clinton’s stagnant results from 23 years ago.
In short, between 2008 and 2022, American elementary-school students sank from George W. Bush’s historic “No Child Left Behind” successes, to Joe Biden’s “All Children Regressed” catastrophes.
Mark Schulte is a retired New York City schoolteacher and mathematician who has written extensively about science and the history of science. Read Mark Schulte's Reports — More Here.
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