The head of the most prominent teachers’ union remained silent on Monday after new national test scores showed troubling declines in math and reading among U.S. students.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s toll on the learning of kids was further evident in the latest national test scores, which saw the largest decreases ever in math, while reading scores dropped to levels not seen since 1992 for fourth and eighth graders across the country, according to the Nation’s Report Card.
The average mathematics score for fourth-grade students fell five points from 2019 to 2022. The score for eight-graders dropped eight points. Reading for both grades fell three points since 2019.
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Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association (NEA), the country’s largest teachers’ union who fought to keep schools closed during the pandemic, failed to address the devastating score decline on Monday, keeping a low profile on her social media in the hours after the scores were released. The NEA official website also failed to make any reference to the latest report, publishing only a joint statement on the St. Louis High School shooting in the aftermath.
Neither Pringle nor the NEA responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Pringle made headlines in August after tax forms showed she raked in more than $500,000 while fighting to keep schools closed during the pandemic between September 2020 and August 2021. The tax documents further revealed that the NEA gave millions to liberal groups in addition to cash to teachers’ associations.
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As Pringle pocketed the hefty paychecks and the group aided liberal endeavors, she and the union fought school reopenings while quietly working behind the scenes with Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials to draft public guidance, forcing millions of students to learn virtually for months. The national test scores are the latest representation of its consequences.
The NAEP test is typically given every two years. It was taken between January and March by a sample of students in every state, along with 26 of the nation’s largest school districts. Not a single state saw improvement in their average test scores, with some recording no change at all. Schools in large urban districts also reflected the national average.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said it’s a sign that schools need to redouble their efforts, using billions of dollars that Congress gave schools to help students recover.
“Let me be very clear: these results are not acceptable,” he said.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), wrote on Twitter Monday that the “results show the pandemic’s grave impact on student achievement and the urgency and importance of supporting teachers to create the safe and welcoming and academically rich environments that kids need recover and thrive.”
“The reality is the pandemic’s effects were bad everywhere and that all schools and kids, no matter the state or district, in person or remote , were hit hard,” Weingarten said. “We know what it takes to bolster achievement—and not just in the wake of a once-in-a-century global health crisis.”