The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, has been the subject of previous blogs The test is usually administered every two years, on odd numbered years, to asample of students who represent the student population of the nation as a whole.”

Unfortunately, the results have consistently provided a disheartening view of our educational system.  And school closures attributed to “unfinished learning” during the pandemic exacerbated the problem. The 2022 results indicated that students are, on average, at least5 months behind in math and 4 months behind in reading.”  And the US History and Civics portion of that same test, “showed students’ average history score fell 5 points between 2018 and 2022.”

Recently, the NAEP’s governing board has passed a resolution to request that Congress postpone the 2026 test for a year. The ostensible reason for the delay is to return the test to its original biennial cycle, which was disrupted by the 2020 pandemic waiver. As a result, federal officials released scores for the 2022 4th- and 8th-grade reading and math assessments in October, weeks before hotly contested state and federal elections.” The chair of the NAEP governing board stated that the year delay would return the “longstanding practice of releasing the Nation’s Report Card results ‘off-cycle’ from federal elections.” 

Should the test be delayed when such critical information is essential in a dire situation? Rather than skipping the year, testing for two consecutive years could provide a more viable alternative for improvement. Additional assessment is essential to develop an improvement plan. Andrew Ho, a Harvard University education professor and former member of the Governing Board stated, “This is a time where we want to understand how we are recovering from the pandemic.” 

 The 2023-24 test will be administered as planned, and the results will be released during the winter of 2025, after the Presidential election. It’s past time to do what is best for our students.  Separate politics from education!

Laura Maniglia