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Hawaii’s public school math, reading scores relatively stable as national results suffer pandemic drop

While a coronavirus pandemic drop-off in nationwide reading and math scores on “The Nation’s Report Card” is being called “appalling” by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Hawaii’s public-school scores surprised local officials by holding relatively steady in three out of four categories, declining significantly only in eighth grade math.

Nationally, the average mathematics score for eighth graders dropped 8 points (from 282 to 274, out of 500 possible), while fourth graders fell 5 points (from 241 to 236), compared with the last time the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, was given in 2019. They were the largest declines ever recorded in math on the NAEP since the test was established in 1990.

In reading, national average scores for both grades fell 3 points (from 220 to 217 at fourth grade, and from 263 to 260 at eighth grade), according to the data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

RELATED STORY: Test scores show historic COVID setbacks for children across U.S.

The national scores include both public and private schools.

However, Hawaii’s scores overall seemed to do better than the general trend.

State scores on the NAEP include only public school results.

Among Hawaii’s state average scores:

>> Hawaii’s eighth grade average score in math fell, from 275 to 270.

>> Hawaii fourth-grade average math score was categorized as “no change” since 2019, even though it inched downward, from 239 to 237.

>> In reading, Hawaii was classified as “no change” in average reading scores for both grades, even though they each rose 1 point, from 218 to 219 for fourth graders, and 258 to 259 for eighth graders.

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