NYC schools see drop in math scores, increase in reading

New York City schools saw a concerning drop in math scores in the first release of state test scores since the COVID-19 pandemic, while reading scores remained steady.

Among kids tested in grades 3 to 8, only 38% had proficiency in math. That equates to a more than 7% drop when compared to 2019, which is the last time standardized tests were taken.

On the other hand, the number of children with proficient reading scores ticked up by 1.6%. 

Schools Chancellor David Banks attributed both of the statistics to the pandemic, arguing that math is much harder to do remotely than reading. Banks also added that city education has had problems since long before the pandemic. 

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"But I think you have to remember, before the pandemic, we had a lot of kids who were failing in this system," Banks said. "So we can't talk about this as thought things were working well before."

FOX 5 NY spoke to Aaron Pallas, a professor of education at the Teacher's College at Columbia University who said that the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt for a few reasons.

One, because schools lost enrollment, and two, because so many parents opted their children out of standardized tests last year.

"I think the most important thing is to not try to look backwards and try to think about moving forward," Pallas said. "What's going to be the best approach to supporting New York City's kids."

Schools Chancellor Banks also said that while testing is important, sometimes the education system can be too focused on "doing school."

Banks says he wants to move forward-thinking about how to make school more engaging for students and more relevant.