The National Assessment of Educational Progress released Long Term Trend data for 13-year-old students last week. On these exams, 10 points approximately equals a grade level worth of average academic progress. Mathematics achievement has dropped 14 points and reading seven points since 2012. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a pre-existing decline. Real spending per student was 160% higher in 2019-20 than in 1969-70, but reading scores are statistically identical (255 in 1970, 256 in 2023). Since 2019, spending has gone to record highs while achievement to near record lows.
The news gets worse when you examine achievement gaps. The chart below shows the mathematics trend by free or reduced lunch eligibility status. The smallest gap stood at a still appalling 24 points in 2008. In 2023 the gap stood at 34 points, the largest on record.
Similar story by disability status- bad for both, worst for IEP/504 plan students.
The gap between public school and Catholic school students increased from 11 points in favor of Catholic school students in 2004 to a 20-point advantage in 2023. The advantage for Hispanic students in Catholic schools stood at 23 points higher than their public-school peers.
Now it could be that you are not overly concerned about your child or grandchild learning civics, mathematics or reading. If so the union captured district system has growing numbers of empty seats just for you! As an added bonus, your special little ones can indirectly serve as funding units for some of the most reactionary special interests in American politics today!