National Report Card released, Reading and Math scores show no progress

This is a photo of two pencils next to a notebook or exam booklet.  (Source: Pexels/stock image)
This is a photo of two pencils next to a notebook or exam booklet. (Source: Pexels/stock image)((Source: Pexels/stock image))
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 5:28 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - According to the nation’s report card - high school seniors have made no progress in math or reading on a closely watched federal test and Alabama lags the nation in scores in lower grades.

The scores were released Wednesday.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is seen as a good benchmark for student learning. It’s given to a representative sample of students across the country and here in Alabama. Education advocates say the scores mean more money is needed for schools to serve students.

2 big takeaways from the data:

- The average reading score for the nation’s 12th graders declined between 2015 and 2019

- There was no significant change for 12th graders in math scores

The average national math score was 150 on a scale of 300....and the average reading score 285 on a scale of 500.

The National School Boards Association releasing a statement saying the report “reiterates what school board members and frontline educators have known for a long time: public schools need more resources”

Testing data for Alabama seniors is not available yet -- but 4th and 8th scores are out. Our Reading and Math averages are between 7 to 12 points behind national averages.

The last test was given before COVID interrupted school. It may be too soon to know how the pandemic has impacted achievement, but education leaders are hopeful, saying because teachers had to get more creative this year we could see scores trend up in the future.

“Traditional homework has always been paper and pencil," said Richard Franklin, AFT, “We’ve broken down a barrier.”

Education advocates also cited the fact that many districts were able to provide students with laptops and internet this year for the first time which is beneficial in closing the digital learning divide for students.

If you’d like to see the data visit

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