SOUTHERN OREGON, —It’s no surprise the pandemic has hurt learning in Oregon. The state just released new test results from the spring. It’s the first time they’ve been administered, since 2019.
The results are a snapshot of how students performed in English Language Arts, Math, and Science. And they’re not good. The Oregon Department of Education says the assessment numbers are a call to action.
“The pandemic had a substantial impact on student learning,” said Dan Farley with the ODE.
Oregon students still reeling from the effects of the pandemic on learning. The Oregon Department of Education says students experiencing poverty, and kids who were multiple grade levels behind prior to the pandemic, are worst off.
“Oregon’s participation rates are likely to be among some of the most inconsistent, and below the national average,” said Farley.
The ODE saw decreases in English Language Arts, Math, and Science from 2019 to 2022.
“These are substantial drops in proficiency,” said Farley.
In spring 2019, statewide English Language Arts dropped from 53% proficiency to 43% this spring. Mathematics fell from 39 to 30% and Science saw the smallest drop, going from 36.9% in 2019 to 29.5% in 2022.
“Honestly, none of the numbers are great, when the starting number isn’t great, dropping anything makes us not pleased with where the numbers are,” said Medford School District Superintendent, Bret Champion.
Locally, the Medford School District says its numbers mirrored the state’s. Superintendent Champion says the stats aren’t surprising given the Covid environment.
That’s why this school year Medford is focusing on the fundamentals, calling it “The Year of Literacy.”
“One of the things I’m charged with is looking at the system and what are the pieces that are systemic that we need to improve to ensure that our student outcomes are stronger than they are today,” said Superintendent Champion.
Despite the state’s declining scores, Champion is hopeful his teachers can help students improve. “The reality is we don’t rest until we’re at 100%,” he said.
Education Director Colt Gill says the assessment results should serve as a continued call to accelerate investments in high-quality instruction, student mental health, and other needs.