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Kentucky test scores reveal struggles caused by COVID-19 pandemic

School
Posted at 11:50 AM, Oct 18, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The latest statewide test scores show that education in Kentucky faces its own difficult recovery from COVID-19.

The scores reveal that many students from elementary to high school struggled across a span of core subjects. The scores were released Tuesday by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Fewer than half of students tested statewide were reading at grade level. Even lower across-the-board scores were posted in math, science and social studies.

Education Commissioner Jason Glass says there’s “no quick fix” to overcome challenges caused by the pandemic, when schools shifted to virtual learning. He says the recovery will take “time and resources.”

Kentucky’s results are consistent with what many other states are experiencing, Glass said.

In Kentucky, the test scores for the 2021-2022 academic year were released Tuesday by the state Department of Education. The assessments were given last spring to more than 383,000 students in grades three through eight and 10 through 11.

“It’s important for all of us to use this data responsibly to help inform parents and families about their students’ schools and to allow local leaders to target resources to communities and schools that need them most,” Glass said.

The results showed that 45% of elementary school pupils scored proficient or distinguished on their reading tests — indicating they are where they should be. Nearly the same percentage of middle and high school students tested at proficient or distinguished levels in reading.

Overall scores were worse in other core subjects. Fewer than 40% of students across all the grade levels tested scored proficient or distinguished in math. In science, the highest overall scores were at the elementary-school level, with 29% scoring proficient or distinguished.

State education officials cautioned that this year's scores can't be directly compared with previous tests because of changes to the test itself.