Biden Admin Says 'Devastating' Fall in Kids’ Test Scores Due to Pandemic Is No Surprise

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June 21, 2023

The Biden administration said it is unsurprised by new reports of nationwide test scores plummeting following government lockdowns.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the results are confirmation of what the administration already knew, "that the pandemic would have a devastating impact on students’ learning across the country."

Newly released data show math and reading scores fell dramatically for 13-year-olds. Math levels are at their lowest since 1990, and reading scores are at their lowest since 2004.

Cardona added that the White House knows it will "take years of effort and investment to reverse the damage as well as address the 11-year decline that preceded it."

Peggy Carr, a commissioner in the Biden Education Department, said there are "worrisome signs about student achievement."

Minority students saw scores fall farther than white students, with the former seeing decreases in math and reading scores of 12 to 14 points while the latter face 6 to 8 point decreases.

The fall in test scores came after Democrats for years prolonged pandemic restrictions, including remote learning and mandatory masking of students.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) said last week that he still supports forcing two-year-olds to wear masks during the pandemic.

"Two-year-olds should have been required to wear masks," Nadler said. "It would be child abuse for parents not to do that because there was no vaccination available for two-year-olds."

The Biden administration has long supported masking children. In an April 2022 House Education and Labor Committee meeting, Becerra said masks were "safe and effective" and "should be used" for toddlers in HHS's Head Start program, which serves children from poor families.

One of the largest and most comprehensive studies on the effectiveness of masks that was published earlier this year found that masks do almost nothing to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.

Published under: Coronavirus