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State superintendent not surprised by low test scores

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:19 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The state now has a better idea of how students performed in school during the pandemic. New scores were released for the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program. The Alabama State Department of Education is focused on the pandemic, mental health, and academic recovery as another school year with COVID is underway.

The ACAP scores were broken up into four levels and across the board, a majority of students grades K-12 tested in the lower levels one or two. Level one is considered below grade level and level two could have the equivalency of a C-grade student. The board is not surprised by the lower scores.

“They’re exactly what we were saying last summer, during last school year, during the testing window this spring, that when students don’t have a teacher in the classroom with them, it is much more difficult for them to learn,” said Dr. Eric Mackey, the state superintendent.

Dr. Mackey said they are focused on raising the scores.

“We already have had a summer record number of students who signed up for summer reading camps, summer STEM camps,” Mackey said.

He continued that since this is another pandemic school year it will be harder to raise the scores or see improvement.

The state also must separate the reading scores from the others in order to determine which students would be affected by the Alabama Literacy Act. That would mean some third graders would be held back.

“Reading scores are probably going to be down, we know that the English Language Art scores overall are down,” Mackey said.

The test scores are unverified. Districts should verify the scores by the end of the month but not much is expected to change. Dr. Mackey said if the scores were higher there would be a question of how students did so well without learning in a classroom environment.

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