Statewide testing results reveal split by ages

  • FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2014, file photo, a student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center school southeast of Brookhaven Miss. The federal government has decided to delay changing the way it determines funding for rural education after a bipartisan group of lawmakers said the move would hurt hundreds of schools. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File) Rogelio V. Solis

Concord Monitor
Published: 7/18/2022 9:51:56 PM
Modified: 7/18/2022 9:51:31 PM

Preliminary results from spring standardized tests show further declines for older students and slight improvements for younger students after scores dropped dramatically during the last two years of the pandemic.

Last year, data from the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System and SAT tests administered to public and charter school students showed performance levels dropped at every grade level from third through eighth grade, including in both English and math scores.

This year, early statewide numbers released by the NH Department of Education show further declines at the high school level, with some improvement among elementary schoolers, and some stagnancy. Individual school and district data won’t be available until the fall.

High school juniors, who were assessed through the SAT this spring, scored 16 points lower in math, going from an average of 508 before the pandemic in 2019 to 492 in 2022. In reading and writing, juniors scored four points lower, going from 515 in 2019 to 511 in 2022.

“We know that these students, who will be starting their senior year in a few weeks, have had a high school career filled with disruptions, remote classes and missed learning. We also know that SAT participation dropped in New Hampshire to about 82% in 2022,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “While many states have seen an overall decline in SAT test scores, New Hampshire scores continue to remain comparatively high.”

Among upper elementary and middle school students, who took state tests in English and math this spring, some scores improved while others remained the same. For example, math scores rose for third- and fourth-graders, with third-graders going from 45% proficient last year to 51% proficient in 2022, and fourth-graders going from 41% proficient last year to 48% proficient in 2022. English scores improved slightly for sixth-graders, going from 50% proficient last year to 53% proficient in 2022.

English scores remained nearly steady for elementary students in grades three through five. And among the middle schoolers students, there were some drops. This year just 49% of seventh-graders scored proficient in English compared to 52% last year, and 46% of eighth-graders scored proficient in English compared to 49% last year.

“Assessment scores are inching upward and returning to near pre-pandemic levels, but it is clear that there is still work to be done to recover from the academic declines that resulted from COVID-19. New Hampshire has not fully regained ground, but these early signs of improvement are promising,” said Edelblut.

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