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FCPS students' test scores down during COVID-19

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 19:07:09-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Measures for Academic Progress (MAP) test scores for Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) students were down for this year compared to pre-pandemic.

Students take the MAP test every year in the spring. The only difference this year is they've been learning in a whole new way for twelve months and that seems to have had an impact.

Teachers, parents, and students all said virtual learning was not easy.

Brooke Stinson, FCPS Interim Associate Director of Literacy, presented the testing scores to the school board on Monday. There was a lot of data to sort through, but essentially, Grades K-8 each saw a drop in Math and Reading scores on the test that measures student progress. For example, first grade reading scores dropped by almost 50%.

First graders scored in the 94th percentile in 2017 and 2018 , 99th in 2019 and 54th in 2021.

"These percentiles do not initially show the growth we normally see in a typical year," Stinson explained to the board.

Even though all grades showed a drop, there was a larger decrease in grades first through fifth. Middle school wasn't as severe.

While they asked plenty of questions, board members didn't appear to be worried yet.

"I think several of us board members have talked to teachers and have talked to staff, and you know I think that overall, our staff is pleasantly surprised with the growth of our students," said board member Stephanie Spires. "They are doing better than maybe some of us adults anticipated they'd be doing."

They asked for more data on other assessments and a way of looking deeper at how students learned over the past year because they know they did.

"What I hear from teachers is positive like even though we still have room to grow, to catch up, I'm not hearing from teachers we're not going to catch up. I'm hearing we are on the right track. We will make up this loss. We are working together, and the students did grow. Like you said, they did not grow what they've typically grown, but they were still learning."

The MAP is considered an important nationwide assessment, but the understanding is this was just one test.

Students will also take the Galileo ELA Benchmark Test and more numbers are expected to come in from the Kentucky Department of Education in September.

FCPS says they have a plan for continued growth.