INDIANAPOLIS — As Indiana students prepare for the upcoming school year, education leaders are finding ways to help them.
Results released Wednesday indicate a tentative bright spot after COVID-19 disrupted classrooms over the past three school years.
"We have to, and we are, and we must continue at the state level and the local level to triple down on making sure all kids can read," said Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner.
On Wednesday, Jenner said the latest iLearn assessment shows slight gains in student achievement, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
Results for the spring 2022 ILEARN exam from the Indiana Department of Education show the statewide percentage of students meeting their grade expectations for math climbing to 39.4% from 2021′s 36.9%. The English proficiency levels rose to 41.2%, up from last year’s 40.5%.
Jenner said in a statement she believed teachers and students should be proud of their progress in recovering from the pandemic disruptions.
ILEARN was first implemented in 2019 to replace the ISTEP exam for students from third to eighth grade. The state did not test students in 2020 because of COVID-19-related school shutdowns. This year’s rates of students with passing scores remain about 7 or 8 percentage points below 2019′s pre-pandemic pass rates.
The report also breaks down results based on ethnicity. Asian and white students outpace other ethnicities, especially Black and Hispanic students.
Black students had the lowest 2022 pass rates at 19% in English and 14% in math. White students, meanwhile, had a 48% proficiency in English and 47% in math.
Education leaders say it's time to work on solutions to close the achievement gap.
"If we don't solve that and start working on that now, we have no shot," said Scott Bess with IDOE. "When you look at the performance level of our Black students, the performance level of our Hispanic students compared to where our white students, this isn't like this is a surprise, or part of the pandemic, this has been systemic."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
What other people are reading:
- Man's body found in south Indianapolis pond; 3 children found dead in car in pond
- US inflation reached a new 40-year high last month
- Amazon Prime Day: What consumers are buying so far
- Pig hearts transplanted into 2 brain-dead patients in key experiment
- Indiana State Fair unveils new attractions for 2022