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Statement from Deborah Delisle on Today’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Results

For Release: Monday, October 24, 2022

Contact: Enrique A. Chaurand, 816.825.1072,  

“I agree with Secretary Cardona that the results shared today from the National Assessment of Educational Progress are appalling, unacceptable, and a call to action. These data clearly illustrate the impact the pandemic has had on our students, teachers, and families. I am particularly concerned by the unprecedented declines in math scores for fourth and eighth graders, the steepest decline ever recorded on the Nation’s Report Card. Worse, the data too often show widening achievement gaps for low-performing students, students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds. For example, the Black-White gap in 4th grade math is now at its highest point since 2000.

“These data are the result of the most significant disruption to education in our nation’s history. The pandemic upended years of student progress, and may take us years to recover unless we act urgently to accelerate students’ learning and stay focused until every child receives the support they need to gain momentum in their learning and be on track.

“Today, school districts are spending billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan to address teacher shortages, expand access to counselors and social workers, provide additional academic support, address student mental health needs, and more. Our schools require continued support over the long term to recover stronger. We must provide our students an educational experience that is far more effective than the one they had before the pandemic.

“We must not, and we cannot be paralyzed by these results. We – educators, advocates, policymakers, and families – must be pushed by them to redouble our support for our kids. They deserve nothing less.”


Deborah S. Delisle is the president and CEO of All4Ed (formerly the Alliance for Excellent Education) and served as assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education from 2012 to 2015. 

All4Ed (formerly the Alliance for Excellent Education) is a Washington, DC–based national organization dedicated to advancing policies and practices so all students, especially those from underserved communities and particularly students of color and those from low-income families, graduate from high school prepared to complete postsecondary education and achieve success in a rapidly changing world.