Assessment test results drop during pandemic

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused disruptions in learning over the past year and a half. Around every corner, students in all school districts were constantly wondering how and where they were going to be taught. It all depended on the state of COVID-19 in Michigan at that time. If cases increased, schools would send their students home to learn online, if cases decreased, some schools would let students return to class. This led to confusion, and in turn to lower test scores.

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), this spring’s student state assessment test scores are down from the last time students received statewide assessments in the United States. spring 2019. Last year, the state dropped state assessment tests like the SAT due to pandemic uncertainty.

“Despite the extraordinary efforts of educators, support staff, principals, parents, the wider community and the students themselves, the disruption of the pandemic has inevitably resulted in unfinished learning for many of our people. children, ”said State Superintendent Dr. Michael. Rice.

The percentages of grade 8 and 11 students who scored higher or better this year on the PSAT and SAT English (ELA) tests improved from 2019, while the percentages of students who scored Graduates or higher in ELA, math and social studies in all other grades have fallen, according to the Department of Education.

Dr Rice noted that it would be difficult to make precise comparisons with scores from previous years. Students did not take M-STEP in the 2020 school year, and the percentages of students who took the ELA and M-STEP math tests this year ranged by grade and subject from 64% to 72% .

“The 2020-21 school year has been such an uneven year with high risks to the health of students and staff, inconsistent technology, and variations in teaching and learning across the state,” said Dr Rice. “Any analysis of M-STEP’s results must take into account the low participation rates in state tests. “

State officials have called on the US Department of Education to forgo statewide M-STEP assessments for the second year in a row. This has been denied by the US Department of Education (USED). As such, the M-STEP was to be administered by local school districts, but was optional for students based on parents’ beliefs about the safety of coming to school for the assessment.

Students who took state assessments were more likely to come from districts that offered in-person or hybrid learning and less likely to be students of color, economically disadvantaged students, or English learners, according to MDE .

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan State Legislature negotiated more than $ 6 billion in state and federal funds earmarked to provide local school districts with resources to help Michigan students, teachers and families begin to recover from the pandemic through local efforts to:

  • expanded learning opportunities during the summer;
  • additional learning time this school year;
  • increased access to preschool education for more children through the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP);
  • additional supports in literacy and math;
  • expanding supports for children’s social and emotional learning and mental health with additional funding to hire more school counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses, and professional development for teachers and staff support in socio-emotional learning;
  • smaller classes, especially at lower levels;
  • improving environmental conditions in schools; and
  • higher educator salaries, especially in the early years of the profession.

To learn more about this year’s test results, click here.

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