State News

Less than a third of fourth and eighth-grade Georgia students score proficient in reading

(The Center Square) — Georgia officials touted Peach State students’ scores on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, saying they were in line with the national average.

However, a leading Georgia nonprofit says news that less than a third of fourth and eighth-grade students in the state were at least proficient in reading is a “dire situation.”

According to state education officials, the percentages of students performing at the NAEP Basic and NAEP Proficient levels were “not significantly different” in most subject areas than in 2019. This was the first NAEP since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the impact of the pandemic on several years of these students’ schooling, I am encouraged to see them performing at the national average and with no significant changes in performance compared to 2019,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in an announcement.

“That’s a testament to the hard work of teachers and students across this state,” Woods added. “Knowing that there is still work to be done together, we will remain laser-focused on academic recovery and providing the resources schools and teachers need to invest in students and their success.”

In contrast, The Georgia Center for Opportunity said that as other nations look to innovation and moving education opportunities forward, the U.S. and Georgia are failing the nation’s kids.

“Education must be first about the kids and not on protecting a system that has fallen behind for decades,” Buzz Brockway, executive vice president of public policy for GCO, said in a statement. “This is about opening our eyes to other ways of learning and exploring how we deliver an excellent education to all our students, regardless of family income or zip code.

“As the NAEP results demonstrate, we need to open our eyes to other ways of learning and exploring how we deliver a quality education for all,” Brockway added. “Whether that be expansion of charter schools, the creation of Promise Scholarship Accounts, or simply allowing parents to choose the school that best meets their child’s needs, innovative options exist that open opportunity to everyone. We simply need to see leadership step up.”

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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