It’s been a challenging 2 years of school and the test scores show it – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pennsylvania’s standardized test scores have been released and show how far kids have fallen behind during the pandemic.

From homeschooling to non-routine days to COVID-19 absences, it’s been a challenging two years of schooling.

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And the test scores show it. Pennsylvania System School Assessment test scores from 2021 show that more than 41% of third-graders statewide are not reading proficient.

Third grade is an important standard because then children must be able to read to understand.

That’s evident in 8th grade grades – nearly half are not reading fluently. And on the Keystone Literacy Test, 11th graders’ scores dropped 91%.

James Fogarty, chief executive officer of A+ Schools, says, “We know that face-to-face schooling is important for children, right? If the cyber school has been in operation for the past 15 to 20 years, we already have cyber charters that are doing better than the schools in our district. We haven’t seen that in the data ever. ”

For Pittsburgh Public Schools, which struggled to provide laptops for all children and was far away most of the past school year, third-grade reading fell in all but four of the 34 district K-5 and K-8 schools. Scores at eight schools show that less than one-fifth of children read at a proficiency level, with one school at 5%.

“No surprise,” said Fogarty. “That is very sad for me. It speaks to a time when we were one of only three school systems in (Allegheny County) that were completely online, and all the others were hybrid or in-person. ”

Fogarty believes that Pittsburgh should train teachers on the best ways to teach reading to help identify struggling children and help them catch up. He added that the challenges of the pandemic have also widened the gap between black and white students.

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For example, Colfax K-8 students show some of the highest proficiency rates in all subjects, but there is a significant achievement gap between Black and white students.

“Why you’re seeing such a big disparity in this year’s data is really related to the issues of poverty and resources,” says Fogarty.

For math, PSSA scores across Pennsylvania are even worse than English. More than half of children in grades three through eight are not proficient in math, with 78% of eighth graders scoring below proficiency.

Pittsburgh Public Schools responded by saying, “We remain focused on accelerating learning and addressing student underperformance. It is inappropriate to compare 2020-2021 results with previous years because of the various conditions exacerbated by pandemic-related disruption. ”

A+ schools are encouraging families to enroll their children in after-school and summer programs that can also help with learning. You can find many free and subsidized programs on the Allegheny Childcare Finder this.

As for tutoring, A+ schools actually called for it to start last summer. But now, Fogarty says, it may be too late for a citywide show this summer. The school is working with CMU on a special tutoring program with university students to try to extend it to more children.

If you want to see how your school or district did on the PSSA, click this.

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And to find more programs to help kids learn, you’ll find all sorts of great options on the Kidsburgh website. this. It’s been a challenging 2 years of school and the test scores show it – CBS Pittsburgh


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