CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as the Nation’s Report Card, shows a decline in reading and math scores for fourth and eighth graders nationwide in comparison to the last assessment conducted in 2019.

Parents and educators told WOWK 13 News Reporter Rachel Pellegrino they’re “disappointed” by the results and attribute the decline to the pandemic.

“The situation regarding the test scores going down is a result of the pandemic, a result of not having a good online teaching system, and we have to catch up these students with their education,” said Ron Walters, a parent and grandparent.

Other parents like Melissa Matsos had similar reactions.

“They missed that connection during the pandemic between the teacher actually teaching and them physically being there with them,” she said. “Some kids probably did well but as an overall, a report card of our nation, shows that a majority of children did not.”

Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, said educators are also disappointed with the results, but they’re hoping to get students back on track.

“We’re looking at remediation programs. We’re looking at ways that we can work with the students both during the school day and with after school programs,” he said. “There’s things that we have in place now that we’re working to ensure the students are back to where they need to be.”

Paul Hardesty, the President of West Virginia Board of Education, said in part, “The results, they’re dismal, and I think we as a state board, and we as a state in general, need to embrace the results and quit making excuses … This problem is reaching epidemic proportions. We got to change the trajectory and we got to change it now.”

National results include scores for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, The Department of Defense Education Activity and all 50 states. According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ website, the assessment is conducted with a representative sample of public school students across the nation.

Compared to 2019, average fourth grade reading scores declined in 30 U.S. states and territories and math scores declined in 43. Looking at eighth grade test scores, those in reading declined in 33 U.S. state and territories and math scores declined in 51.

A full break down of test scores by state and territory can be found on National Center for Education Statistics’ website.