Governor Glenn Youngkin described the learning losses of Virginia fourth and eighth-grade students on this year’s national reading and mathematics tests as catastrophic. Since 2017, fourth graders in Virginia suffered the largest declines in reading and math in the nation on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

For the first time in 30 years, Virginia’s 4th grade students have fallen below the national average in reading and are barely above the national average in math. The average scores of the Commonwealth’s eighth graders also dropped, with statistically significant declines in both reading and math.

Virginia began participating in NAEP in 1990, and State NAEP assessments are administered every two years. The 2021 administration of NAEP was postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic.

“The NAEP results are another loud wake-up call: our nation’s children have experienced catastrophic learning loss, and Virginia’s students are among the hardest hit,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Every parent in Virginia is now acutely aware that when my predecessors lowered educational standards, those lowered expectations were met. Virginia’s children bear the brunt of these misguided decisions. These actions were compounded by keeping children out of school for extended and unnecessary periods. Virginia may lose a generation of children—particularly among our most in need. We are redoubling our Commitment to Virginians, to prevent us from losing a generation, with additional steps to ensure that all children in Virginia have the tools and support structure to get back on track.”

Youngkin also doubled down on his administrations commitment to Virginia’s children and the seven actions they plan to use to improve education.

Action 1: Raise the Floor and the Ceiling

Action 2: Empower Parents with Emergency Support for Students

Action 3: Launch Tutoring Partnerships

Action 4: Hold Ourselves and Our Schools Accountable

Action 5: Strengthen Virginia’s Teacher Pipeline

Action 6: Provide Parents, Students, and Teachers with Actionable Information

Action 7: Challenge School Divisions to Spend Nearly $2 Billion in Remaining Federal K-12 Funds on Learning Recovery

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