Education

USD 383, KS education officials observe decline in state test scores due to pandemic – Manhattan Mercury

Summary

The Manhattan-Ogden School District is witnessing the same kind of decline among some math and reading assessment scores that is being noted statewide by Kansas education officials.

Kansas State Department of Education Commissioner Randy Watson said Monday that information on the first statewide evaluation of student performance since the pandemic began indicates a drop in standardized test scores among 476,000 children in public schools.

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The Manhattan-Ogden School District is witnessing the same kind of decline among some math and reading assessment scores that is being noted statewide by Kansas education officials.

Kansas State Department of Education Commissioner Randy Watson said Monday that information on the first statewide evaluation of student performance since the pandemic began indicates a drop in standardized test scores among 476,000 children in public schools.

According to the KSDE Report Card, for 2021 10.5% of all Manhattan High School sophomores and seniors tested at the highest proficiency level in math, called Level 4 by KSDE officials, which is a 5.2 percentage point decrease from 15.7% for both grades reported in 2019.

KSDE officials compile student performance data in each district into a “report card,” or Excel spreadsheet, for each school year. No state testing took place last year as Kansas schools adapted to pandemic protocols. Schools were closed for in-person learning from mid-March 2020 to the end of the semester. USD 383 utilized a hybrid mode of learning that combined some in-person classes with online schooling.

In English and Language Arts (ELA), 8.5% of all MHS sophomores and seniors tested at Level 4 in math this year. That’s an 1.8 percentage point increase from 2019, which saw 6.7% of students in those grades testing at the highest echelon.

Increases were noted among students testing at the lowest proficiency levels as well. For 2021, 38.2% of MHS sophomores and seniors tested at Level 1, compared to 31.2% in 2019. That’s an increase of seven percentage points.

USD 383 officials were not immediately available for comment on state assessment scores.

Kansas assessment results for the state, individual districts and schools are available at the state Department of Education’s Data Central website portal. The data is broken up based on students’ race and ethnicity, free/reduced lunch status, and other parameters.

The state report for 2021 on math for all students across all grade levels indicated 7.8% tested at the highest proficiency level, which is a decline of 1.5% since 2019. Twenty percent scored at the next-highest level, a reduction of 3.2 percentage points since 2019. The portion of students at the lowest level of achievement in math jumped to 34.3%, an escalation of 6.1 percentage points.

In reading, the damage to Kansas students was less severe when comparing 2021 and 2019 results. In 2021, 8% of students tested in English and language arts reached the highest proficiency level, a setback of 0.7 percentage points compared to 2019. In 2021, 30.3% of students were at the lowest level of achievement on math exams, a wrong-way change of 0.9 percentage points from 2019.

Officials with the Kansas Association of Schools Boards said Monday that education leaders and researchers “have been expecting a decline” in student achievement due to the pandemic. KASB associate executive director of advocacy Mark Tallman said the 2021 report was unusual because 12,000 fewer students participated in testing as public school enrollment suffered, and some remote-learner students didn’t have access to supervised settings to take exams.

Source: https://themercury.com/news/usd-383-ks-education-officials-observe-decline-in-state-test-scores-due-to-pandemic/article_54167aed-0840-5f6c-9ced-629e178e5319.html