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Math skills plummet during COVID | News, Sports, Jobs



Student math learning has been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Chautauqua County schools.

This year, 46.6% of students tested statewide were proficient in English, while 38.6% were proficient in math, according to a Syracuse Post-Standard report. A simple average of Chautauqua County proficiency rates shows an increase in English language arts proficiency from 39.6% in 2018-19 to 40.83% in 2021-22. Math proficiency decreased from 44.67% to 34%, a decrease of 10.67%.

A simple average of student skills is all that is possible as of The Post-Journal and OBSERVER press deadline due to how the state Education Department released the information Monday. Data release usually takes place in August of each year. This year, they weren’t released until Monday, and that release only came when news outlets and good governments, including the Empire Center for New York State Policy, filed requests under the law. on freedom of information.

When the state finally released the information, it did so in a huge data dump in a file format that is difficult to convert into current software. When The Post-Journal and OBSERVER can compile the full test data for our readership area, a better countywide measure of proficiency will be released.

“We are pleased to finally make crucial educational data available to New Yorkers, although NYSED has certainly made us work for its release,” said Peter Warren, director of research at the Empire Center. “The FOIL process should not have had to shake up the data regularly made available to the public long before this date. Nonetheless, we can now begin to unpack the results, which will provide some long-delayed insight into the extent of learning loss that has occurred in our state.

What is known is that math proficiency has declined in many school districts across the region, while English proficiency has declined in only six districts (Silver Creek, Ripley, Panama, Fredonia, Clymer and Cassadaga Valley) from 2018 to 2019, the last pre-pandemic testing year, to 2021-22, when testing resumed after not taking place in 2019-20 and being optional in 2020-21 . Skill rates for schools in our readership area can be found with the jump to this story on the AX page.

The local data is consistent with the results of the 2021 National Educational Progress Assessment tests, although the Empire Center notes that a true understanding of the state’s educational performance lies in the test results released Monday by the state department of education. The NAEP highlights the performance of 26 major districts, so it is useful primarily as an indicator of broad trends. Comparison of school districts can only be done with data from the state Department of Education.

“This analysis will require the use of state valuations; New York officials ripped off the band-aid and quietly released the results of the state’s assessment today after a long and unusual delay and assurances only ten days ago that they would be published on November 4, The Empire Center’s Ian Kingsbury wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

National math scores saw their biggest declines on record, and reading scores returned to 1992 levels. This year marked the first time the test had been administered since 2019, and it is considered the first representative study in the world. national scale of the impact of the pandemic on learning. Nearly four in 10 eighth graders failed to grasp basic math concepts. Not a single state has seen a noticeable improvement in its average test scores, with some simply treading water.

An Empire Center analysis of NAEP data found New York City fourth-graders’ scores fell 10 points from 2019 to 2022, a number surpassed only by Delaware, Virginia and Washington DC and tied by Maryland and New Mexico. Psychometricians claim that ten points is roughly equivalent to a year of learning. The six-point drop in eighth-grade math is closer to the national standard of 8 points. By NAEP standards, equal proportions of fourth- and eighth-grade students in the state—28%—are proficient in math.

The Empire Center analysis also found that reading scores declined by fourth grade, with only 30% of fourth-graders in the state and 32% of eighth-graders found to be proficient in reading.

“This learning loss was most pronounced in math and learning loss in reading was greater in fourth grade compared to eighth grade with New York State assessment results,” Kingsbury wrote. “As I noted when releasing the results of the New York State assessment, once children are literate, learning to read is more easily self-directed and much of it occurs in outside the classroom.”



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