Less than a quarter of Delaware high school students achieved math proficiency in the standardized test for the 2021-2022 school year, and less than half were proficient in reading, according to test results released Tuesday.
Results showed 47% of high school students were proficient in reading on the SAT, 38% on the essay portion, and 24% proficient in math.
Meanwhile, 30% of students in grades 3–8 were rated proficient in math, and 42% were proficient in the English language arts.
In science, 20% of fifth graders, 17% of eighth graders and 26% of high school students were rated proficient.
In social studies, 32% of fourth graders, 29% of seventh graders and 24% of 11th graders scored at or above the proficient level.
Over the years, it has been difficult for many Delaware school students to achieve proficiency in standardized tests. For example, in 2019, 53% of students ranked proficient in the English language arts, compared to 54% in both 2018 and 2017, and 52% in 2015, the first year when the Smarter Balanced Assessment was administered in grades 3-8 it was done. In mathematics, 44% were proficient in 2019 and 2018, compared to 45% in 2017 and 39% in 2015.
On the SAT, high school students had 29% math proficiency in 2017 and 28% in 2018 and 2019. Reading proficiency was 53% in 2017, 50% in 2018 and 48% in 2019. Proficiency on the essay portion dropped from 53. From % in 2017 to 44% in 2018 and 42% in 2019.
The US Department of Education waived student assessment requirements in the 2019-2020 academic year due to coronavirus-related school closures, and student participation in standardized tests fell sharply last year.
Among students taking the standardized assessment in the 2020-2021 school year, 41% in grades 3-8 were proficient in the English language arts, and 26% were proficient in math. On last year’s SAT, 49% were proficient in reading, 44% on the essay portion, and 28% in math.
State education officials suggested that school closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic were at least partly to blame for the latest results, which they said would serve as a “baseline for recovery from the pandemic”.
“Providing educational opportunities this summer has been a priority as we know students are recovering from incomplete learning related to the pandemic,” Education Secretary Mark Holodick said in a statement. “Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and our teachers are committed to continuing to meet students where they need to be to be successful by providing them with the support and learning time they need.”