Sinking Scores

The U.S. experiences a decline in test score results.


Ana Garcia-Cabrera

Sophomore Keshvi Patel studying for the Gemoetry EOC during the 2021-2022 school year.

Ana Garcia-Cabrera, Staff Writer

“You get an F, you get an F, and you… get an F!” The pandemic took a toll on academic performance. The newest study of the National Assessment of Educational Progress is an alarming sight when it comes to education, the percentage of eighth graders with proficient scores was below average with a 49 percent passing rate in English Language Arts and 42 percent in Mathematics. There should be more resources given to students in order to compensate for the time lost inside the classroom.

In the climax of the pandemic, students around the world had to resort to online learning. This was a heavy adjustment because students and teachers had to alter their traditional way of education.

Sophomore Yissel Vasquez-Angel stated, “My learning habits changed, I switched towards a more independent type of learning. I also developed the habit of procrastinating even on easy assignments because they were online. While I developed a good habit, I also developed one that became hard to eliminate.”

The National Assessment of Educational Progress otherwise known as the “Nation’s Report Card” is an assessment of American students’ knowledge of reading and mathematics that uses fourth and eighth graders.

Reports gathered by FutureEd based on the Nation’s Report Card compared test scores from previous years, starting from 2019 to today’s current results. In the state of Florida, eighth graders’ English Language Arts scores fell by seven points while their mathematics scores fell by four points. Scores within the nation had fallen the furthest they have ever been in just three years.

Junior Nichole Masutier stated, “It was really hard for a lot of students to adapt and be strict with themselves, especially with mental health being so bad for students during the pandemic. I’m not surprised that this happened.”

Though test results in Florida sank, the state was among the top scoring in the nation as identified by Tampa Bay Times. In regards to mathematics, eighth graders ranked up to No.21, which was previously No.22. English Language Arts went up to No.32 from No.35. This placement is still fairly low as Florida was one of the first few states who opened up their schools. This shows the difficulty of transitioning to physical learning, it will take time.

The decline in scores indicates the struggle students may have in the future which can impact their performance as time passes. If students are failing to get proficient scores\ on relatively simple concepts during their middle school years, there is a possibility that some of these students will have a hard time when they enter high school.

Freshman Jasmine Ramos said, “I haven’t had a hard time this year, I think I can handle the upcoming curriculum.”

Suncoast’s new Chargers are steadily figuring out how high school works. So far, they are doing well, as expected by many. However, Suncoast Community High School is not the only school in the Palm Beach School District. This being said, academic performance can improve by providing help to students in multiple schools including Suncoast.

Sophomore Supriya Jacob commented, “Procedures to bring up the scores cannot happen overnight. I think promoting mental health groups and study groups would be helpful, as well as preventing the overlap of stressful work and projects. Test anxiety is a thing people fail to consider, that is something we can work on.”

As much as the work students put into their academic successes allows them to move forward, mental health contributes a role in their success as well. The pandemic provided a mental toll on many, affecting students as well as adults. The pandemic had caused many students to have a setback in work ethics, motivation, and time management. Although they themselves are responsible for their performances, schools can provide a push to inspire students to improve. The decline in scores will continue if there is no action taken to solve the issue.