Overall, there are few signs of recovery from pandemic-related school disruptions. There has been little movement in reading or math achievement levels from spring 2022 to spring 2023, with the exception of early-elementary reading (i.e., Grades 1–2), particularly in the Phonics domain.
Students Placing On Grade Level in Mathematics in Grades 1–8
Students Placing On Grade Level in Reading in Grades 1–8
- Grades 1 and 2 students were not yet in school when the pandemic shut down schools in March 2020, yet they are still performing below pre-pandemic averages.
- In spring 2023, 61 percent of Grade 1 students and 60 percent of Grade 2 students placed on grade level in reading on the i-Ready Diagnostic. While these results are slightly above achievement levels in spring 2022, they are seven percentage points below achievement levels in spring 2019.
- Overall, early-elementary students show a small increase in grade-level attainment in reading between spring 2022 and spring 2023, yet they remain below pre-pandemic achievement levels.
- Upper-elementary and middle school achievement levels in reading have remained stagnant. In Grades 5–8, fewer than 50 percent of students are reading on grade level, comparable with pre-pandemic levels.
- In 2023, 50 percent of Grade 4 students placed On Grade Level in reading, a three-percentage-point drop from 2019. This is notable because Grade 4 students were in Grade 1 when schools initially closed—a crucial year for the development of foundational reading skills.
- In mathematics, fewer students are on grade level and more students are below grade level across all grades compared to pre-pandemic levels.
- In Grades 5–8, the percentage of students on grade level is between four and 10 percentage points lower than in 2019.
- Across all grades, student learning from 2021–2022 to 2022–2023 remained stagnant.
- Historical inequities continue to persist between schools serving majority Black and Latino students and schools serving majority White students, as well as between schools in low-income communities and schools in higher-income communities.