Michigan students' test scores continue to be a downward trend

Test Scores District Data
Posted at 6:58 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-21 09:17:08-05

(WXMI) — The pandemic and online learning definitely played a role in students’ standardized test scores, but researchers say below-average scores have been a steady trend before the pandemic.

According to Tara Kilbride from Michigan State's Education Policy Innovation Collaborative, in years leading up to the pandemic, Michigan students were consistently scoring below national averages on NAPE assessments and proficiency rates were below 50% in English and language arts.

“By the end of the 2020–21 school year, they had dipped below or fell further below national averages and generally stayed below those averages and through the next school year as well,” Kilbride said.

Low scores during the pandemic had a lot to do with accessibility.

“When students were learning remotely they didn't all have equal access to reliable technology. And that certainly impacted how effective at different types of distance-learning technology and methods were for students,” she told FOX 17.

According to NAPE assessments, in 2022 Michigan continued to decline in reading, going from ranking 32nd to 43rd in the nation.

But there was progress in the same year: fourth-grade math improved from being 42nd ranked in the U.S. to 36th.

“Students had vastly different experiences during the pandemic and are experiencing different types of challenges now because of that. So individualized support, tutoring, and more small-group instruction will probably be important in being able to identify and address the specific and individual needs for different students,” she said.

Kilbride also pointed out that the key to supporting students through academic recovery is recruiting and retaining quality educators.

READ MORE: West MI nonprofit seeks tutors to address declining literacy rates

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