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Nation’s Report Card: Largest score drops in history, Duval County falls below state average

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New testing results released by the Nation’s Report Card shows the pandemic’s impact on student learning. The National Association of Educational Progress saw its largest drop in math scores ever recorded.

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The NAEP said it saw no improvements in math scores in any state or urban school district across the country, and Duval was no exception.

“It is unparalleled change. It really is not something we’ve seen before. In my 30 years doing this work, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Dr. Steven Davis, an associate professor in education at Jacksonville University. “It’s really hard to say that we can recover totally, but (what) we can do is to make sure we don’t get more behind.”

In Duval County, the NAEP report shows an 8% drop from 2019 results to 2022, with 37% in math proficiency for fourth graders. Duval had a 3% drop for eighth grade math, to 27%.

“In order to really eternally use mathematics, it needs to be experienced and thought through,” Davis said. Most students were learning instead through a computer screen.

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Reading dropped 6% to 22% proficiency for fourth graders, and eighth graders actually went up a percentage point to 27% across DCPS.

Overall, Duval did better than the national averages, but still fell below the state average. Florida had 41% proficiency for fourth grade math and 23% for eighth grade. Reading showed 39% proficiency in grade four and 29% in grade eight.

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz credits Florida’s results above national average on getting students back to the classroom. He said that also helped close the achievement gap.

“I think the long-term effects are going to be positive for Florida, as well as what we saw in the short term, which is avoiding the slide, avoiding the increase of the achievement gap. Not only avoiding it, but closing that achievement gap,” he told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant.

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Davis said the answer to overcoming the decline in scores is not easy. However, he said teachers will need more quality teaching time in the classroom, and will have to focus on the students as individuals and adjust.

The full NAEP report can be found here: District Profiles (nationsreportcard.gov)


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