Student Scores are Down.
Bring Them Up With Sylvan!


By: Dallan Hunt

I’m sure you’re not surprised. Parents were expecting it. The effects of online learning, as well as school and classroom closures, have left their children missing the full educational experience which previous generations have enjoyed. As a result, student achievement has suffered not just over the pandemic, but continues to this day, and recent data on student scores have confirmed it. Recognizing the problem is one thing, but knowing the steps you can take to help give your child the extra help they need is key.
Let’s dive in.

The Findings

No one wants to be reminded about the pandemic, but recent data has confirmed it continues to affect our children’s education. Consider the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP – pronounced “nape”). The 2022 NAEP test, often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card, found record drops in learning across the US since the last test in 2019.

reading statistics graphic

“At fourth grade, the average READING score was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2005 and was not significantly different in comparison to 1992. At eighth grade, the average READING score was lower compared to all previous assessment years going back to 1998 and was not significantly different compared to 1992.”

Unfortunately, recent findings on student math scores saw even greater declines:

math statistics graphic

“In 2022, the average fourth-grade mathematics score decreased by 5 points and was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2005…The average eighth-grade mathematics score decreased by 8 points compared to 2019 and was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2003.”

Similarly, the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) also saw decline in their MAP test, which is another standardized assessment given across the U.S. This data shows results for all grades between grades 3 – 8 in both reading and math. Percentile ranks were down across all grades in both subjects from 2019 to 2022. As with NAEP, scores fell the most in math.

nwea statistics graphic

Additionally, NWEA is expecting that it could take 3 to 5 years to return to pre-pandemic performance.

No comprehensive results for nationwide student achievement are available yet in Canada, but it would not be surprising to find similar declines there as well. In fact, given the longer closures of schools in some districts, it could be worse.

Overall, the effect on student performance is clear (and we know, a bit daunting), so the question you’re probably asking is, “What can I do about it?”

The Solution

Tutoring is one of the best ways for students to catch up, but not all are created equal. Luckily, Sylvan’s proven approach has already been helping students catch up, keep up, and get ahead for decades. Sylvan provides tutoring like no one else, and there are several reasons why:

  • Dedicated Time With a Teacher

    Sylvan ensures that each student receives 1:1 instructional time with a teacher at every session. Our instructors have the perfect environment to dedicate time to your child, and to tailor instruction to what they need the most. Students also get time to independently practice the skills with teacher feedback so that the student continues to grow in their confidence.

  • Personalized Learning

    At Sylvan, we use test scores to immediately place a student into a program at the point where they need to begin. From there, our instructors teach prerequisite skills, re-teach skills when needed, skip skills that students have already mastered, and move them forward steadily towards their goal. As a result, students get the most out of tutoring as they watch their confidence grow!

  • Students Move at Their Own Pace

    Not all students will catch up at the same rate. Some will catch up quickly, while others may need more time and more support. Sylvan allows students to move at their own pace, only moving forward after a student has mastered prerequisite skills needed for the next set of skills.

  • Proven Results
  • Sylvan students typically see up to 3X more academic growth than students who aren’t enrolled at Sylvan. Even more impressive is that our students achieve this growth within the first 24 sessions of tutoring – far less than a full school year. 

In the end, the data on student achievement have confirmed the suspicion of many. As parents expected, the pandemic has had a lasting effect on our children. But that isn’t the end of the story. If you want to help your child, start by scheduling an assessment today. Find out how your child is really doing and set them on the path towards success!

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Sylvan Center Director & Teacher Dallan Hunt wrote this blog.