National School Report Card Confirms COVID-Induced Academic Impacts on Ohio’s Students

Comprehensive Solutions Needed to Help Ohio’s Students Catch Up

COLUMBUS – An education advocacy group backed by Ohio’s business leaders today called for a comprehensive plan to help Ohio’s students catch up from setbacks caused by the pandemic after new research highlights the severity of the challenge.


The recently released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an assessment of math and reading skills given by the U.S. Department of Education to 4th through 8th graders, sheds further light on the academic declines in Ohio.


“This new national report further validates an alarming trend in Ohio and across the country—that our students are falling behind in math and literacy,” said Lisa Gray, president of Ohio Excels, a coalition of business leaders committed to high-quality education and training for all students. “None of this should be surprising, and these findings reinforce the need for immediate public policy interventions to help Ohio schoolchildren make up for lost learning. The looming danger is that too many children won’t get back on track, creating societal problems far beyond academic concerns.”


According to Gray, Ohio’s proficiency rate in eighth grade math fell from 38 percent in 2019 to 29 percent in 2022. In addition, eighth grade reading proficiency rates fell from 38 percent to 33 percent during this period.


“While we have seen efforts get underway in Ohio to try and catch students up, more needs to be done to address it. No less than a ‘Marshall Plan’ of comprehensive new public policy solutions is crucial to boost the academic learning declines. Interventions are needed now to enhance teacher supports, engage families, provide high-quality instructional resources and high-dosage tutoring, employ gap analysis tools, and encourage strategic partnerships for academic achievement,” said Gray. “As business leaders committed to Ohio’s success, we’re dedicated to doing our part to help tackle this urgent problem.”