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OPINION

Virginia Worst Decline of 12 Mega-States on Nation's Report Card

report card and a standardized test
(Dreamstime)

Mark Schulte By Tuesday, 31 January 2023 12:07 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares are righteously outraged by the current civil-rights scandal involving at least 16 of the state’s public high schools, which had inexcusably failed to notify students who earned National Merit honors.

Approximately 75% of these mistreated, super-achievers are Asian Americans.

The three Republican leaders must also rectify the state’s disastrous results on the 2022 “Nation’s Report Card,” as the total score for Virginia’s public-school students was 989 points, or 31 points fewer than the 1020 in 2019.

While the Old Dominion’s learning loss is the worst among the nation’s 12 most populous states, who have between 39 million and 8.7 million residents, the exams in 4th and 8th grade math and reading were administered during the first quarter of 2022.

Since the current competent Republican triumvirate was only sworn into office on Jan. 15, 2022, responsibility for this academic catastrophe totally belongs to the administration of Gov. Youngkin’s predecessor, Democrat Ralph Northam, who was in office between Jan. 2018 and Jan. 2022.

Nationally, between 2019 and 2022, the total average score on the four exams fell from 1006 to 987, or 19 points.

Since 12 points on the “Nation’s Report Card” equals one year of academic achievement, the national loss was 1.6 years, as compared to Virginia’s horrendous 2.6 years.

Not surprisingly, five of the next six states with the largest score declines also had Democratic governors. North Carolina’s Roy Cooper had a 27-point plunge, from 1009 to 982; and Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, a 26-point drop, from 1016 to 990.

Both New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy, and New York’s hapless duo of Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul had a 22-point decline: from 1035 to 1013 in the Garden State; and from 999 to 977 in the no-longer Empire State.

With 21-point drops are Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, from 1016 to 995; and Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, from 997 to 976.

By contrast, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lost 16 points, from 1013 to 997.

Two other Republican governors, Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Texas’ Greg Abbott, had 15-point declines. The Peach State dropped from 997 to 982; and the Lone Star State from 996 to 981.

California’s Gavin Newsom had a 12-point drop, from 986 to 974, and Illinois' J.B. Pritzker had an 11-point decline, from 1003 to 992.

Significantly, on these two “Nation’s Report Cards,” California had the lowest scores among the 12 most populous states: 974 in 2022 under the glib, yet serially incompetent, Newsom; and 986 points in 2019, under another inept Democrat, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown.

Ranking 11th and 10th last year are two other Democratic dystopias: Michigan, 976, and New York, 977.

In fact, dysfunctional public schools are a major cause of the huge population declines suffered by California and New York between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2022. New York’s population plunged by 524,000 residents, from 20,201,000 to 19,677,000.

California’s massive exodus was 509,000, from 39,538,000 to 39,029,000.

Among the 12 most populous states, New Jersey ranked first on the last two “Nation’s Report Cards,” with 1035 points in 2019, and 1013 in 2022.

Florida “improved” from fifth to second place, from 1013 points to 997.

Ralph Northam’s Virginia fell from second place in 2019 with 1020 points, to sixth place in early 2022 with 989 points.

A granular examination of Virginia’s horrific 31-point decline reveals huge disparities among the state’s four major racial or ethnic groups.

Hispanic students had the largest decline in educational achievement at 49 points, or 4.1 years, from 974 points to 925 points.

Black students suffered a 44-point loss, from 950 to 906.

White students lost 25 points, from 1049 to 1024.

Asian students had a 22-point drop, from 1115 to 1093.

Fourth graders lost a combined 21 points in math and reading, while eighth graders dropped 10 points. Scores on the two math exams fell by 19 points, and 12 points in reading.

The huge disparities in Virginia in 2022, between Asian students and their classmates, ranged between 69 and 187 points, or 5.8 to 15.6 years.

The “advanced-level” percentages on the four exams averaged Asians, 23%; Whites, 9%; Hispanics, 2%; and Blacks, 1%.

In 2022, Virginia’s enrollment demographics for 4th graders were Whites, 47%; Hispanics, 19%; Blacks, 18%; and Asians, 9%.

Nationwide, total average scores for the four major racial or ethnic groups, in 2019 and 2022, are: Asians, 1099 and 1089; Whites, 1043 and 1026; Hispanics, 960 and 941; and Blacks, 932 and 913.

Point losses are Asians, 10; Whites, 17; and Hispanics and Blacks, 19 each.

With the administration of the 2024 “Nation’s Report Card” just one year away, I am confident that the nation’s 26 Republican governors, especially Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin, are intensely focused on recouping the unprecedented losses in 2022.

I have less confidence that the 24 Democratic governors, 18 of whom were in office during the catacylsmic COVID public-school shutdowns, are similarly motivated.

Mark Schulte is a retired New York City schoolteacher and mathematician who has written extensively about science and the history of science. Read Mark Schulte's Reports — More Here.

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MarkSchulte
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares are righteously outraged by the current civil rights scandal involving at least 16 of the state's public high schools.
nations report card, education
857
2023-07-31
Tuesday, 31 January 2023 12:07 PM
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