Student test scores: Gen Z outperforms baby boomers in math, reading

Acknowledging the long-term gains of the U.S. education system could give teachers, parents and leaders the confidence needed to restore our schools.

Paul E. Peterson and M. Danish Shakeel

Opinion contributors

  • U.S. students for 50 years made remarkable test score gains in math, steady ones in reading
  • Gaps between white students and students of color closed by one-half or more  pre-COVID
  • Progress was made toward closing the achievement gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”

According to the just released National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation’s report card, 9-year-old students suffered over the past two years the worst declines in student achievement in math and reading in over half a century. What’s worse, the lowest performing ones suffered the most serious shortfalls.

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