Department of Ed Reveals Steep Decline to Grades Due to Lockdowns; “Students Performing At Level Last Seen Two Decades Ago”

NCES Acting Associate Commissioner Daniel McGrath stated that the damage done to education in the United States during the pandemic was significant. File photo:, Shutter Stock, licensed.

WASHINGTON D.C. –  The Biden Administration’s Department of Education revealed in a report published on Thursday that mandatory COVID-19 school lockdowns and remote learning had a seriously negative impact upon American students, with one of the steepest declines in grades in decades in a wide variety of subjects, including reading, mathematics, and others.

The Education Department noted that grades dropped across the board throughout – and after – the pandemic to degrees not seen in education in over 30 years.

“In 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a special administration of the NAEP long-term trend (LTT) reading and mathematics assessments for age 9 students to examine student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said. “Average scores for age 9 students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020,” the DOE claimed. “This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics.”

According to records kept by NCES – part of the Department of Education that collects, analyzes, and publishes statistics on education – math scores went down for the first time ever, whereas reading experienced its most major decline in three decades; these statistics affected students almost uniformly, students with histories of lower academic performance showed an even greater drop in scores than their higher-achieving classmates.


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“In 2022, reading and mathematics scores for students at all five selected percentile levels declined compared to 2020,” the report said. “In both subjects, scores for lower-performing age 9 students declined more than scores for higher-performing students compared to 2020.”

NCES Acting Associate Commissioner Daniel McGrath stated that the damage done to education in the United States during the pandemic was significant.

“These are some of the largest declines we have observed in a single assessment cycle in 50 years of the NAEP program,” he said. “Students in 2022 are performing at a level last seen two decades ago.”

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