SALEM, Ore. -- After two years of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon Department of Education has released results from their spring 2022 assessments, and the data shows proficiency in English language arts, mathematics and science is down in grades three to eight compared to before the pandemic.
ODE says 2022 testing shows students who were already behind before the pandemic suffered the most learning loss during it. However, they also point out that children overall lost ground when compared to 2019 test scores. Across grades three through eight, just 39% of students scored as proficient at reading and writing in spring of 2022, down from the previous low of 51%. Just 28% scored proficient in math, a severe drop from the previous low point of 40%.
ODE says that while the data paints a generally grim picture, there are some bright spots. Officials say many districts were able to support positive academic growth during the pandemic, with some districts that saw high participation rates experiencing significant academic growth for all students in elementary mathematics. ODE says the practices of these districts may hold the key to reversing the trend of deteriorating test scores.
The Oregon Department of Education said the assessment results should serve as a call to action to better fund schools and education institutions through investments such as the Student Success Act, the High School Success program, and funding from the State School Fund, among other resources. The ODE said the investments must help all students with a special focus on students who suffered the worst disruptions from the pandemic. The ODE also pointed out the need to better support teachers, support staff, school leaders and other staff as workforce issues increase the pressure on staff in schools throughout the state.