Oklahoma NAEP results reflect nationwide, pandemic-fueled decline in reading, math scores

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Rob Crissinger
Executive Director of Communications
(405) 521-3371

Leslie Berger
Assistant Executive Director of Communications
(405) 521-6647

Erin Corbin
Communications Specialist




Oklahoma NAEP results reflect nationwide, pandemic-fueled decline in reading, math scores

OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 24, 2022) – A national report released today shows steep declines in reading and math scores among fourth- and eighth-grade students in all U.S. states, including Oklahoma, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This year’s NAEP results are deeply troubling and in line with what we saw with our recent state assessments. The scores are evidence that students suffered significant disruptions to educational achievement as a result of the pandemic,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said. “A full recovery will take considerable time and resources, but Oklahoma students are already turning a corner. We have invested in a number of programs to help students recover from learning loss and we are counting on the state Legislature to support additional investments promoting high-quality instruction, academic recovery and student mental health in the next session and in the years to come.”

Every two years, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card, measures the educational achievement and progress of the nation’s fourth- and eighth-grade students in reading and mathematics, utilizing a representative sample of students in each state. NAEP results provide insight into K-12 education and student achievement in our nation.

NAEP results from assessments administered in January – March 2022 show an eight-point decline in fourth grade reading, and a seven-point decline in eighth grade reading in Oklahoma, compared to a three-point average national decline in both grades.

In math, Oklahoma NAEP results showed an eight-point drop for fourth graders and a 13-point decline among eighth grade students. Nationwide, the decline was five points for fourth grade and eight points for eighth grade.

NAEP results are provided for students overall and by selected demographic characteristics such as race/ethnicity, gender and student eligibility for the National School Lunch Program. Results are also based on information collected from student, teacher and school questionnaires. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) – which oversees and administers the assessments – does not provide individual scores for participating students or schools.  

Student performance on NAEP assessments is presented in two ways:

  1. Average NAEP scale scores represent how students performed on assessments. Scores are aggregated and reported at the student group level for the nation and states/jurisdictions. They can also be used for comparisons among states and student groups.
  2. NAEP achievement levels are performance standards that describe what students should know and be able to do. Results are reported as percentages of students performing at or above three achievement levels (NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced). Students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter.

With the advent of the pandemic, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) collaborated with educators, public health experts and families to create a framework for schools to safely remain open for in-person instruction. Released in June 2020, Return to Learn Oklahoma: A Framework for Reopening Schools provided a comprehensive host of considerations for teachers in the development of learning plans.

In May 2021, the OSDE launched Ready Together Oklahoma: An Action Plan for Supporting Students Through the Pandemic and Beyond, the state’s COVID-19 educational recovery plan. Overall, the OSDE has invested $232 million in federal pandemic relief from three tranches of funding in a host of initiatives to help students recapture unfinished learning, including $18 million specifically to bolster reading and math.

  • $13 million for Science of Reading Academies to provide up to 10,000 pre-K through third-grade teachers with sustained, job-embedded professional learning to improve student literacy.
  • $5 million to the Math Tutoring Corps, which offers intensive, high-dosage tutoring for up to 3,500 seventh- through ninth-grade students to reinforce the problem-solving and math skills they are studying in class and prepare them for higher-level coursework.

The OSDE has also made two new programs available statewide aimed at bolstering reading and math at no cost to schools and districts: Imagine Language & Literacy and Imagine Math.

Imagine Language & Literacy is an adaptive learning program that accelerates reading and language proficiency for students from Pre-K through sixth grade. It is designed to supplement core literacy instruction in all domains of literacy (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and is aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards.

Imagine Math is a comprehensive, supplemental, skills-based online math program for students from Pre-K through eighth grade. The platform works with the classroom teacher to tailor online instruction to the needs of individual students. Imagine Math is fully aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics, including authentic assessments, adaptive learning pathways, embedded scaffolds and actionable data.

Click here to view the full 2022 NAEP results data.


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Last updated on October 24, 2022