National test scores from before COVID-19 show students not prepared for college

FILE - In this June 27, 2020, file photo, Saltillo High School seniors make their way to the football field as the sun begins to set for their graduation ceremony in Saltillo, Miss. The number of high school seniors applying for U.S. federal college aid plunged in the weeks following the sudden closure of school buildings this spring — a time when students were cut off from school counselors, and families hit with financial setbacks were reconsidering plans for higher education. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP, File)

According to the nation’s report card, national reading and math test scores declined for high school seniors in 2020, according to test data collected before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data showed more than 6 in 10 seniors were not academically prepared for college according to Ethan Fieldman, CEO of Study Edge, a leading educational resource for students nationwide. He said the numbers were alarming for the world's future leaders.

"The scores mean students are not ready for college and it also means that many are not ready for jobs either," Fieldman said. "The scores are not looking very good which is a really bad thing for our economy moving forward."

Fieldman said the nation's report card data came from tests prior to the pandemic.

"These scores do not indicate the time during the pandemic which we already know has been hard for students nationwide," Fieldman said. "I think our next report card scores could look similar or worse considering the challenges from COVID. Technology has always been a headache but now we have virtual learning, parents who are working from home who can't be a teacher, and other lack of resources."

Fieldman said if your student is struggling with online learning or taking tests, try these recommendations:

  1. Parents: Communicate with your child's teachers, help with homework, and monitor deadlines with your student.
  2. Distractions: Get rid of distractions like cellphones, TVs and video games.
  3. Maintain: Keep to a schedule. Help your child maintain a "normal" agenda for homework, studies and free time.

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