(WFRV) – In a year where students across the nation experienced declines, Wisconsin elementary school students held steady in mathematics and reading assessments scores according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Consistent with the national trends, Wisconsin eight grade students experienced declines in both subjects, but overall scores remained at or above the national average.

“The results released today reiterate trends we have seen across the nation as students continue to recover from learning disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “Recovery is a continuous journey, and we haven’t yet reached a destination we are satisfied with, nor do we just want to return to where we were before. What is clear is that Wisconsin students, educators, and schools need our support more than ever. They are our future, and we owe it to them to invest in their success and ensure they are well-prepared to lead this state.”

The 2022 NAEP results are the first glimpse of how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected students academically on the national level.

In mathematics, Wisconsin was one of 10 states/jurisdictions without any significant statistical change among fourth graders from 2019, with students performing above the national average scale score.

NAEP results also showed the Black to White opportunity gap among Wisconsin fourth and eighth graders persistent in both mathematics and reading. Wisconsin’s opportunity gap remains the widest among all states/jurisdictions according to NAEP results.

“We’ve known Wisconsin’s racial disparities in assessment results are among the widest in the nation for too long, and these troubling results are yet one more indication that we must close the opportunity gap in our state,” Dr. Underly said. “We need continued investment, intervention, and innovation in our state, and we have the means to accomplish exactly that. Our biennial budget request will help put targeted resources and supports in our schools and ensure we are helping the students who need it the most at this critical time. They deserve no less, and neither do we.”

The 2022 NAEP was taken by students from January to March 2022 and was previously taken by students in early 2019.

Around 2,200 Wisconsin fourth graders and 2,600 eight graders were tested in reading, whereas around 2,300 fourth graders were tested for mathematics compared to the 2,500 eighth graders.