American Kids Are Scoring Lower in Reading and Math. Thank COVID School Closures.

New data from the federal government confirm a severe consequence of COVID lockdowns: a reversal of two decades of learning progress in American schoolchildren.

Written by Hudson Crozier

New statistics: Between 2020 and 2022, test scores for reading and arithmetic dropped severely among 9-year-old American students, according to the Department of Education’s latest survey. The largest drops were among already struggling students.

For context: This same survey showed consistent improvement in test scores since the 1990s. Only now have these scores dropped as school districts across the country resorted to virtual learning during the pandemic. The overall decline has rolled back two decades of progress in U.S. schools.

Who was responsible? Despite the evidence against school lockdowns and data that showed children least at risk and least likely to spread COVID-19, the following coalition fought to keep schools closed:

Big picture: Mainstream news outlets are still covering for those in power who pushed harmful, unscientific lockdown orders—The New York Times blamed “the pandemic” for the decline in test scores. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, led the national movement to reopen schools and was ridiculed by the media, though the evidence continues to vindicate him.


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