Missouri 7th Congressional District Representative, Billy Long:

2 + 2 = 3 In New COVID Math

On Monday, the National Assessment of Educational Progress was released, and it’s not good. Known as the nation’s report card, this is considered the authoritative exam on how America’s schools are performing in specific subjects. Based on the results of this exam, math and reading scores are down significantly since the pre-COVID days. This is a concerning development for our students and shows that the lessons of COVID policy are still being learned.

Let’s start with math. All but one state saw declines in math scores since 2019. And this isn’t a small decrease either. For eighth graders, only 26% are considered proficient at math, down from 34% in 2019. Fourth graders did slightly better, with 36% being proficient in math compared to 41% in 2019. These numbers are concerning because of America’s current standing in the world. How are we supposed to compete against China and remain a world superpower if only 26% of eighth graders and 36% of fourth graders are proficient at math? We can all agree that competing against China will be a major issue in the years to come, and to do so our students must be proficient in math, it’s that simple. When it comes to reading scores, the results aren’t much better. More than half of the states saw declines in reading, with only 33% of fourth graders and 31% of eighth graders reading at grade level.

It’s not hard to find the cause of these drops. Schools were closed for months, or in some cases more than a year, due to COVID, and we’re clearly seeing the impacts of this decision. The pandemic has drastically hurt our students’ performance and that poses a serious problem for the future. President Biden and the Democrats want you to forget who did this to our students. They want you to forget that it was their idea to close schools for so long, and it was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Biden Administration that took direction from teacher’s unions on when to reopen schools. They put the interests of unions above the interests of our students, and now they want you to forget that it ever happened.

Closing schools was obviously a terrible decision, one that will have long lasting impacts far beyond our education system. We need our students to be leading the world in math and science if we are going to compete in the 21st century. Failing to compete here would give a serious advantage to China, and that should concern all of us. If we are going to compete against China, we have got to make sure our schools never close again. There is simply too much on the line.