Delaware public school students continue to have trouble making the grade, according to statewide test results released Tuesday.
Test results for the 2022-2023 school year show that only 40% of students in grades 3-8 scored proficiently in English language arts, a decline of 2 percentage points from last year. Less than one-third of students in grades 3-8, just 32%, scored proficiently in math, which represented an improvement of 2 percentage points.
Among high school students taking the SAT, 44% scored proficiently in reading, a decline of 3 percentage points. Less than one-fourth, 23%, scored proficiently in math, one percentage point worse than last year. On the essay test, 42% scored proficiently, an improvement of 4 percentage points.
In science, 24% of fifth-graders scored proficiently, up 3 percentage points from last year; while 16% of eighth-graders scored proficiently, a decline of 1 percentage point. Among high school biology students, 22% scored proficiently, a decline of 4 percentage points.
In social studies, 26% of eleventh-graders rated proficient, an increase of 2 percentage points from last year.
“We know recovery will take time, and we will not be deterred,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said in a prepared statement, referring to the academic damage from COVID-era school shutdowns and the subsequent emphasis on online learning.
Test results from 2019, before the COVID shutdowns, were considerably better than results from this year or last year, with 53% percent English language proficiency and 44% math proficiency, in grades 3-8.
The 2019 scores, however, showed little improvement over the preceding three years.
Statewide math proficiency in grades 3-8 remained stagnant at 44% from 2016 through 2019, except for an uptick of one percentage point, to 45%, in 2017. English language proficiency dropped from 55% in 2016 to 54% percent in both 2017 and 2018 before sliding further to 53% in 2019.
On the SAT, statewide proficiency in 2016 was 53% in English and 31% in math. The proficiency in English remained at 53% in 2017, while math proficiency dropped 2 percentage points to 29%. Proficiency continued to decline in 2018, to 50% and 28% for English and math, respectively. In 2019, statewide English proficiency dropped again, to 48%, while math proficiency remained unchanged at 28%.
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