Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Denise Forte, interim CEO at The Education Trust, issued the following statement on the release of the 2020 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, long-term trend assessments.

“Today’s announcement of NAEP long-term trend assessments is yet another troubling indicator of the inequities plaguing our nation’s schools. The data, which shows an unprecedented decrease in reading and math scores for 13-year-olds and widening opportunity gaps, should serve as a thunderous wake-up call for policymakers at all levels to adopt policies and make investments that center the academic and social-emotional needs of underserved students. The disruption to learning caused by COVID-19 has only widened the disparities, and research shows that students from low-income backgrounds, Black and Latino students, students with disabilities, and English learners were least likely to have access to the resources and supports they need to learn from home.

“The unprecedented federal investment in education through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides states and districts with a tremendous opportunity to address unfinished learning and invest in evidence-based and effective policies and practices to support the social-emotional and academic well-being of students who are systemically underserved. We urge Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act, which includes substantial investments in early childhood education, school nutrition, and educator preparation systems, the entirety of which have been demonstrated to be critical in the effort to improve the quality of education for all students in this country.

“While the NAEP results are sobering, we know that progress is possible when leaders prioritize the needs of underserved students. Today, we call on national, state, and local leaders to take the necessary actions to address persistent inequities in access to strong and diverse educators, advanced coursework, high-quality early childhood education, school funding, and other essential supports provided inside and outside the classroom.”

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