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New York students have fallen behind: Group says schools need to spend pandemic money to get them caught up

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, troubling dips in fourth grade math and reading scores in New York were double the national average, indicating significant losses in fourth grade learning. The nation’s report card paints a concerning picture for New York schools.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The report indicated that no group was singled out in the findings—the drop stretched across racial, ethnic and gender categories. The average drop in math of about 10 points was equated in a report to be the equivalent of an entire school year.

According to the state, the data shows although fourth graders in New York tested poorly, eighth graders saw no loss.


The state is urging school districts to reassess their spending plan and devote more money towards academic recovery. The Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund has $14 billion dollars available for emergency education aid, but it must be directed somewhere by September 2024, or the funding is lost. Doulis said so far less than half has been used.

“The classroom disruptions caused by the pandemic have hurt New York’s students. Academic losses were greater for younger students, with fourth-grade scores dropping more than the national average. School districts must act quickly to take full advantage of available resources to help students that are most in need get caught up before time runs out,” the report adds.

This is a pervasive problem in New York and nationwide, and it is something that needs to be addressed with utmost urgency to ensure that children are getting the education they deserve.