Big drop in D.C. student test scores during pandemic
D.C. public school students’ scores in math and reading dropped significantly between 2019 and 2022, with the learning losses most pronounced among Black, Hispanic and at-risk students.
Why it matters: The scores — which mirror a national trend — show the negative impact the pandemic has had on student achievement.
The big picture: The assessments in math and reading/writing were taken by students in grades 3-12. Reading/writing proficiency dropped across all grades, but it was math proficiency that took the biggest hit.
By the numbers:
- Only 19% of kids were proficient in math this year, down from 31% in 2019.
- Thirty-one percent were proficient in reading/writing, down from 37% in 2019.
Zoom in: Disparities were particularly pronounced among students of color and at-risk students.
- Black and Hispanic/Latino students saw the largest declines in reading/writing proficiency.
- Math proficiency dropped by more than 10 percentage points across most race/ethnicity groups.
- At-risk students’ reading/writing scores declined by 6 percentage points, compared with a drop of 4.2 percentage points for non-at-risk students. In math, the drop for at-risk students was 10.2 percentage points and 9.8 percentage points for non-at-risk students.
Zoom out: Nationally, elementary test scores in reading and math among public and private school students plummeted during the pandemic.
What’s next: D.C.’s state superintendent has launched an effort to reverse the trend, using $1 billion in federal stimulus funds.
- As part of the effort, a tutoring program that served nearly 2,200 students last school year is expected to be offered to 4,000 this year.
- Officials are also planning to launch a Family Resource Center for students with disabilities.
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