Test scores slowly rebounding in Mass. post-pandemic, new study shows

DEDHAM, Mass. — New data shows test scores are slowly rebounding among American students who suffered educational loss during the pandemic.

The new study conducted by Harvard researchers tracked annual data from 30 different states including Massachusetts.

The results here found that between 2019 and 2022, students in Massachusetts lost the equivalent of two-thirds of a grade level in math, and more than two-fifths of a grade level in reading.

“During the pandemic, it was as if students missed out on two-thirds of a typical year’s learning in math and two-fifths of a year in reading,” the study said.

The results varied greatly throughout the cities in Massachusetts, gateway cities like Lynn, Revere, Framingham, and Everett are still losing ground in math.

Wealthier districts like Andover, Natick, Newton, and Lexington all saw improvements.

“No one in Massachusetts wants to leave poor kids footing the bill for the pandemic, but that is the path we are on,” said Dr. Thomas Kane, Faculty Director of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and one of the study’s co-authors. “With federal relief dollars drying up, state leaders need a plan to ensure that the highest poverty districts recover.”

Between 2019 and 2023, Massachusetts was among the states with the largest widening between high and low-income districts in both math and reading.

Cambridge and Plymouth are outside of the higher-income districts and saw a 40% increase in math and between a 23% and 34% increase in reading.

Massachusetts has received over $2.8 billion in federal recovery funding and as of January 2024, and still has over $901 million (32%) remaining.

To view the full data, visit the link here.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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