The National Assessment of Educational Progress has kept track of nationwide trends in test scores since the 1970s, but their latest report is bad news for post-pandemic education in the United States.

In the NAEP's new report, 9-year-olds lost ground in math, and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years.

The headlines around the country are dire. "The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading," writes the New York Times. "Reading and Math Scores Plummeted During Pandemic," says the Wall Street Journal.

But in Lafayette Parish, schools worked to erase most of the loss since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data released by the Louisiana Department of Education near the end of the summer.

“These outstanding LEAP results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our educators and school leaders who have continued to rise to the many challenges of recent years,” LPSS Superintendent Irma Trosclair said in a previous statement. “Because of their efforts, a growing number of students have not only recovered learning, they have surpassed pre-Covid assessment performance. As we prepare for the start of school, it’s important the community recognize the value of student attendance and family engagement in learning.”

Lafayette Parish's overall scores are up one point from where they were before the pandemic. 39 percent of students in 3rd through 8th grade achieved Mastery or Higher on LEAP testing in 2022.

The state average is 31 percent.

While the LEAP test covers more than just the reading and math measured by the NAEP report, that score growth still shows that Lafayette Parish students suffered far less educational loss than other places around the country.

According to the NAEP report, the northeast and midwest regions of the country saw the biggest losses in math and reading scores. The south saw a slightly smaller loss in scores while the western part of the country saw little to no drop.

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