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Oklahoma sees fall in academic test scores

Monday, October 4, 2021 - Academic test scores in Oklahoma have dropped drastically, according to the State Board of Education.

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in the spring of 2020 standardized state test scores show only one in four Oklahoma students are performing at grade level. Results also show that math and science numbers are even worse.

State Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister stated in a press release, "We should be alarmed by what we are seeing, the impact of COVID on our children and families."

English and math tests are administered to third through eighth grades and also eleventh graders. State science tests are given to fifth, eighth and eleventh graders. The largest decline statewide was in the third grade students.

Hofmeister added, "The third grade is really very important for us to think about, the fact that these are second graders that were disrupted with the final piece of their last four months in the second grade."

Officials note that "foundational content was missed" due to the COVID pandemic and children moving out of classroom instruction, to virtual instruction and several other different forms of instruction.

Eleventh grade science was the only testing score that stayed near the same as in 2019 with 24 percent testing at grade level.

Hofmeister also noted that student participation rates were low and results also offered only ancedotal information.

Ryan Walters, a teacher who serves on Governor Stitt's cabinet as Secretary of Education said, "Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, has requested an investigative audit to ensure taxpayer dollars are focused on the right priorities."

Test scores were released to the public on Monday.

Frank McCoy, Staff Writer

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