Press Release

Statement from Denise Forte, president and CEO of The Education Trust, on NAEP Long-Term Trend Assessment Data 

WASHINGTON – Denise Forte, president and CEO of The Education Trust, issued the following statement regarding the release of the 2023 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trend results for 13-year-olds. 

“We are deeply disturbed but are not surprised by the 2023 NAEP Long-Term Trend assessment results for 13-year-olds released today. Unfinished learning continues to weigh on students across all grades and subjects, and this is especially true for Black and Latino students, English learners, and students from low-income backgrounds who experienced the brunt of pandemic-related upheaval and uncertainties. Now is the time for education leaders and advocates to work together to give students what they need by marshaling evidence-based resources to provide high-quality learning experiences so every student can live their chosen life. 

“Students want to succeed, attend college, start a rewarding career, and reach their full academic potential. But they can’t if they continue to lose precious ground. Too often, students are denied opportunities to learn, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. We know that while Black and Latino students are interested in STEM, they are blocked from access to advanced coursework from elementary through high school. According to our latest research, middle school students of color and students from low-income backgrounds are not given equitable access to rigorous coursework, including advanced STEM courses, which set students on college-ready pathways. 

“The story is similar in reading, as school leaders across the country find themselves amid a burgeoning literary crisis.  

“Students learn best in a safe and inclusive school environment where they feel supported, nurtured, and can fully see themselves in the curriculum being taught. And while the nation is experiencing this profound learning loss, there is a dangerous movement being advanced by some lawmakers to continually deny students access to quality education by limiting how race and related topics are discussed in schools, including removing diverse books and texts from the classroom. These misguided efforts limit academic progress for all students and must be stopped. 

“We encourage decisionmakers at all levels to invest in implementing evidence-based programs and practices that accelerate students’ learning, and that will begin remedying the persistent inequities that the NAEP results continue to confirm.” 


The Education Trust is committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust improves equity in education from preschool through college, engages diverse communities dedicated to education equity and justice, and increases political and public will to build an education system where students will thrive.