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May 25, 2021

Chairwoman Johnson Statement on Results of the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress

(Washington, DC) – Today results were released from the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 4, 8, and 12 assessments in physical science, life science, and earth and space sciences. The NAEP, also known as The Nation’s Report Card, is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of student proficiency in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history, civics, and geography. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), is charged by Congress with administering the NAEP program. The 2019 science assessments were administered from January 2019 to March 2019 to a national sample of students from 3,920 schools.

“The latest results of the NAEP science assessment include some bright spots, but overall represent a story of stagnation, and some concerning signs of regression,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “I was pleased to see the narrowing gender and racial/ethnic achievement gaps among students in grade 4 and 8. However, I was concerned to see widespread declines in scores across all three science areas for the lowest performing students- typically those in the bottom quartile. This grouping represents students who are already struggling, for any number of reasons, and we must do more to support them. I worry that the disruptions of the pandemic have only exacerbated the challenges many of these students and teachers face.

“NAEP results offer an important snapshot of how we are doing as a nation, but they do little to help us understand the complex factors at play in our large and heterogeneous education system. We know there are very successful K-12 STEM education models in which even the most disadvantaged children will thrive. As Chairwoman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I will continue to advocate for Federal investments in research to contribute to evidence-based policies and practices and to provide students, teachers, parents, and education leaders at all levels with the tools they need to succeed. In a world of pandemics, climate change, information technology, and personalized medicine, science literacy is more important than ever. And ensuring that all of our nation’s diverse talent has the opportunity to participate in our STEM workforce will be central to our future economic growth and wellbeing.”