Virginia education test results remain low compared to pre-pandemic rates
RICHMOND — Virginia’s pass rate for standardized learning tests and other assessments released Thursday remains lower than pre-pandemic results.
Pass rate data shows that all students performed better than the previous year in the past year when students returned to face-to-face learning.
However, education officials said the results were below state standards and reflected the impact of prolonged school closures.
“The bottom line is that face-to-face instruction is important. Comparing the data for 2021–22 with performance for 2020–21 shows that when the majority of students were learning remotely or on hybrid schedules, teachers were more likely to be in classrooms. You will see the difference when you reunite with your students at the school,” said Public Education Superintendent Gillian Barrow in a statement.
Learning standards tests help measure whether students are meeting the learning and achievement expectations of the school board. The test is administered in several areas such as mathematics, reading, science, writing, history and social sciences.
Results show that 66% of all students passed math tests in 2021-22 compared to 82% pre-pandemic. Overall, 73% of students passed the reading comprehension test, compared to 78% pre-pandemic.
Student pass rates have improved over the past two years, except for the writing area, which dropped 4%.
Educators say there is a “strong correlation” between in-person instruction and higher grades.
The data show that 69% of students with face-to-face instruction for nearly all of 2020-2021, 62% of students with face-to-face instruction for most of 2020-21, 39% and 37%, respectively, experienced almost all or mostly remote instruction, compared to passing the year math test.
Parents will now be able to access individual progress reports for their students in grades 1-8 to address learning losses due to the pandemic, according to educators. Virginia will start with select school districts in the fall before expanding across the federation.
In a statement, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said the results showed that school closures had “undeniably made things worse” for students in Virginia, and that the best “antidote” was in-person education.
The SOL test data used to determine a school’s accreditation rating will be released next month.
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