State DOE Says Lockdowns Reason For Dismal Student Proficiency Levels

Statewide assessment results for the 2021-22 school year reinforce the continuing need to provide additional supports and learning time to students in response to COVID-19 school building closures.

For English language arts, 42 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored at or above their grade’s proficiency level. In mathematics, 30 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored at or above their grade’s proficiency level. Although the percentage of students who scored proficient is higher than in 2020-21, making a direct comparison is not appropriate because of lower participation rates in 2020-21 due to COVID-19.

“Providing educational opportunities this summer has been a priority because we know students are continuing to recover from pandemic-related unfinished learning,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said. “Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and our educators are committed to continuing to meet students where they are to provide them the supports and learning time they need to succeed.  Federal Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief funds (ESSER II and ESSER III) will allow for our schools and districts to use targeted interventions and institute system changes that address the needs of all students, especially those kids who need it most.”

For high school statewide assessment, Delaware uses the SAT, administered during the school day, generally in students’ 11th grade year. In 2022, Delaware moved from a paper and pencil exam to an online assessment (grade 3-8 assessments previously were online). Statewide, 47 percent of students scored proficient or higher in the reading test, 24 percent in math and 38 percent on the essay portion.

In science, Delaware tests in grades 5, 8 and high school biology. The 2021-22 scores show 21 percent of fifth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 26 percent of high school biology students scoring proficient or higher.

Social studies is assessed in grades 4, 7 and 11. Statewide for 2021-22, 32 percent of fourth graders, 29 percent of seventh graders and 24 percent of 11th graders scored at or above the proficient level.

Delaware administers an alternative assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The state moved to a new assessment model in 2022. Find more information on this assessment as well as the ACCESS English language proficiency assessment here.

Families received their student reports in the mail last month, providing valuable information on their children’s learning progress. Educators received the results a few weeks after the students tested.

“These assessment results help everyone from the classroom educator to policymakers better understand student learning and needs, and they will provide important guidance to us as we plan how to best support our students in the new school year,” Holodick said.

Find full results, including demographic and district/charter information, here.

Source: Delaware DOE

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