‘We need to improve our education system’: Secretary of Education sends clear message after report shows significant decline in nation’s test scores

Results show troubling reading, math scores

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After results from the Nation’s Report Card showed major declines in reading and math scores across the county, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is sending a message that the education system needs improvement.

Educators and government officials feared that students would struggle academically because of the changes during the pandemic. Cardona, who said he was not shocked with the results, hopes that these troubling results will motivate leaders and school districts to put more resources into education in the future.

“The pandemic had a significant impact on our student’s ability to develop in reading and math. What it did was affirm the fact that we need to double down. We need to improve our education system,” Cardona said.

Many parents and guardians agreed with Cardona’s statement.

“I am not shocked or surprised. This has been trending for a long time,” Daniel Reed said.

RELATED: Troubling stats: ‘Nation’s Report Card’ shows COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on K-12 education

“With the condition of our public school system across the county and the lack of paying teachers what we need to pay them, it’s not surprising. But it’s something they can build on,” Junius Mosby said.

Cardona said a part of the solution is “focusing on efforts.”

“Providing acceleration, making sure that every student has an opportunity to get high-quality instruction, tutoring, where possible after-school programming, and just making sure that we’re providing them with the individualized attention that they need,” Cardona said.

In 2021, the federal government invested more than 120 billion dollars from the American Rescue Plan to help students catch up after the pandemic. Cardona said it’s key that school districts also use that money to bring in and keep teachers and staff.

Cardona also wants parents to be proactive and make sure this federal money is being put to use in their children’s schools.

To view the Back-to-School Checklist that Cardona recommends parents check out, visit www.sites.ed.gov.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.