NYS drop in fourth-grade test scores during pandemic is double the national average

ALBANY, N.Y. — Test scores for New York State fourth graders have declined by 10% in math and 6% in reading since the pandemic. That’s double the loss compared to the national average, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller.

The report, which compared test scores from 2019 and 2022, calls for school districts to use the federal pandemic recovery funding to help children most in need. Schools across the state received a total of $14 billion through the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund. Data published by the comptroller’s office shows that schools have only used about 40% of the funds.

New York’s losses in fourth-grade math exceeded 45 other states. For reading, the losses exceeded 38 other states. The report also found that eighth-grade math scores in New York State fell by 6%, while the national average fell by 8%. Eight-grade reading test scores didn’t change in New York but dropped by 3% nationally. You can explore the data here.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli urged the New York State Education Department to guide schools on how to spend the funds to help students who are behind.

“The classroom disruptions caused by the pandemic have hurt New York’s students,” DiNapoli said. “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.”