HometownMcLennan County


Local school districts work to reverse pandemic test score trends

Posted at 8:43 PM, Sep 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 21:43:34-04

New data from the U.S. Department of Education unveiled the extent of the impact of the pandemic on students.

The study from the National Center on Education Statistics found that the average reading test scores for 9-year-olds dropped 5 percent since 2020. Math scores dropped 7 percent.

Educators are working to correct the damage done by the instability of the pandemic and e-learning.

Waco ISD assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Deena Cornblum, said the district saw the district following national trends during the pandemic but has since started to turn around.

"We look at last year and we look at our progress monitoring from beginning to end--we see growth. And we see that from all grade levels," Cornblum said.

Trena Wilkerson, chair of the Baylor School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, said the learning gaps will likely begin to resolve over the next year or two.

"Schools are finding that students are pretty resilient," Wilkerson said. "True, they face a lot, there's no doubt about that. But they are resilient and given the right kinds of support, they can move forward."

Districts are using a variety of tools in hopes of catching students back up.

Education Service Center Region 12 is partnering with many Central Texas school districts to help train tutors to assist students.

"Schools offer tutoring services to their students, particularly targeting students who were not successful either on their STAAR or EOC test," said Shirley Strong with ESC Region 12. "What we at the service center do is offer training and support for schools that want to implement a 'best practices' version of that."

Educators agree that the pandemic recovery requires collaboration between students, teachers, and parents.

"We are in this together," Wilkerson said. "You're not the only teacher having this struggle, you're not the only family struggling with this, you're not the only student having this struggle."

View the full report from the National Center for Education Statistics here.