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(The Center Square) – South Carolina scores for eighth graders dropped in reading and math, and for fourth graders in math, according to the Nation’s Report Card from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The fourth grade results, with reading scores remaining steady despite the COVID-19 closures and difficulties, were different than a nationwide trend that saw drops in both fourth and eighth grade scores. 

Historically, NAEP is administered every two years, but COVID-19 caused the assessment planned for 2021 to be delayed until 2022

“The results we see nationwide were perhaps expected but are no less concerning for educators who anticipated the consequences school closures would have on student achievement,” said South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “While our state maintained its performance overall as the nation showed significant decline, these results confirm there is still much work to do. We commend the work of educators to help students recover and reaffirm commitments to double down on efforts that will address the needs of all students and prepare them for college, career and citizenship.”

The South Carolina average for fourth graders in reading was 216, same as in 2019. The average nationwide public school score in 2022 was also 216. Eighth graders, in reading, scored 254 compared to 259 in 2019; the national figure was 259 this year.

In math, South Carolina fourth graders had an average of 234, a tick below the national 235 and down from 237 in 2019. South Carolina eighth graders averaged 269, which was below the 273 for the nation and the Sandpapers' 276 in 2019.

Staff Reporter

Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.