The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a test that is taken by students across the United States. It is sometimes referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card.” The results of the 2021 assessment have recently been released. The overarching headline is that math scores fell significantly during COVID. Here are some of the key data points:
- Overall, math scores dropped by 7 points. This is the first ever drop in math since the assessment started in the 1970s.
- All students, regardless of income or race, declined in math achievement.
- Low achieving students experienced the largest decline, 10 points.
- High achieving students experienced the smallest decline, 3 points.
- Black students experienced a 13 point drop, and white students experienced a 5 point drop.
In other words, COVID exacerbated the gap between low and high achieving students and the gap between white and black students. While this may not be surprising, it is nonetheless a reminder of the significant impact COVID and virtual learning has had on student learning.
So, what do we do about it?
Martin West, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, claims that the key to closing the gap is giving low-income students more learning time: “I don’t see a silver bullet,” Dr. West said, “beyond finding a way to increase instructional time.”
I don’t see a silver bullet beyond finding a way to increase instructional time.Martin West, professor Harvard Graduate School of Education
This doesn’t have to mean more workshops. Instead, we can leverage parents. All parents want to see their child succeed. If we give parents the necessary knowledge and tools, they can play a key role in helping their child catch up on learning time by engaging in fun math activities at home.
This is exactly what Counting Fingers and Toes aims to do. Our parent workshops provide parents with the confidence and knowledge they need to support their child’s numeracy, and our Early Math Play Kits provide parents with the tools they need to play math activities together. We believe that through games and play, parents can help build important math skills.
This past fall 2022, we led two parent events and distributed 125 Early Math Play Kits to Nashville families. This coming spring 2023, we are partnering with local preschools to lead six parent events and provide 680 Early Math Play Kits to low-income Nashville families.
Learn more about how we partner with local Nashville schools here.