October 24, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 24, 2022) — Education Reform Now Vice President for K-12 Policy Charles Barone issued the following statement in response to today’s release of state and local results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

“No one is likely to be surprised by today’s NAEP results. But one of the biggest and most under-recognized lessons here is that schools can and do make a difference in the lives of students, particularly those from historically underserved communities. If the quality of education did not matter, we would have seen no drop in NAEP scores at all following the learning disruptions caused by the pandemic.

These results present an opportunity and a challenge, not just to bring student achievement up to pre-COVID levels but to surpass them. Fortunately, there is still over $100 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief funds that can and must be allocated toward proven and promising strategies that will accelerate learning and that are targeted to our highest need students. Without serious interventions, we risk inflicting generational harm on our children, our communities, and our nation.

COVID-19 recovery funds, like those provided by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, have the potential to reverse the concerning trajectory we see in academic achievement for but only if allocated toward innovative and evidence-based strategies that we know work.

With the deadline to spend federal K-12 Covid-19 relief funding quickly approaching in 2024, now is a critical time for states and districts to look to best practices and new ideas and ensure they are maximizing investments to address opportunity gaps and help all students reach their fullest potential.”