KSD 111 remote classrooms

King Middle School student Ke’Shawn Bellany concentrates on a worksheet in April 2022 in a classroom at St. John Paul II Catholic Church in Kankakee where King and Lincoln Cultural Center students are finishing out their school year.

WASHINGTON — Math and reading scores for America's 9-year-olds fell dramatically during the first two years of the pandemic, according to a new federal study — offering an early glimpse of the sheer magnitude of the learning setbacks dealt to the nation's children.

Reading scores saw their largest decrease in 30 years, while math scores had their first decrease in the history of the testing regimen behind the study, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Education Department.

The declines hit all regions of the country and affected students of most races. But students of color saw some of the steepest decreases, widening the racial achievement gap.

Recommended for you