School Interrupted: Largest test score drop in 20 years

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For the first time since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement in the 1970’s, 9 year old’s lost ground in math and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years. The declines spanned almost all races and income levels. The scope and the magnitude of the decline is shocking and takes one aback.

The question is, what is the cause? We spoke to Kate Tesch, Director of Continuous Improvement in Assessments for the School District of Superior to get her take.

“COVID changed a lot of things. However, third grade is the first year we assess our kids at the state level. It’s the first year we have that specific data. 2018 and 2019 was the last year we had a normal school year,” says Kate.

Since that time students have been in school, and out of school, so obviously there is a huge gap in terms of student’s consistency. According to Kate, consistency is everything.

“We need kids in school, in seats every single day, all day long. And just that exposure to being at school and learning in a full day experience is that is the huge priority. And I think that is something that our parents and our community has a direct impact on the priority of being in school,” she says with confidence.

As we enter a post-pandemic next chapter in our world, it is with high hopes that school aged children can all get the education they need and the resources they need to learn in school.