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Test scores decline in nearly every state, including Iowa

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Results from a national assessment of fourth and fifth graders showed a drop in math and reading scores, largely attributed to the pandemic, but what do these scores actually say about the state of education in the U.S.?

Assistant director for education and outreach at the Iowa Reading Research Center Nina Lorimor-Easley joins River to River host Ben Kieffer to discuss where students are falling behind. Ames Tribune education reporter Phillip Sitter discusses his reporting on Ames High School being marked "underachieving" and Sylvan Learning of Ames center director Marcey Propp talks about high demand for tutors.

Later, Iowa State Professor Shana Carpenter talks about her research into effective learning.


  • Phillip Sitter, education reporter, Ames Tribune
  • Nina Lorimor-Easley, assistant director for education and outreach, Iowa Reading Research Center
  • Marcey Propp, center director, Sylvan Learning of Ames
  • Shana Carpenter, psychology professor, Iowa State University
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.